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ROI hosts groundbreaking forum to advance comparative effectiveness research registry

Arlington, Va., April 19, 2012 – The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) hosted a National Radiation Oncology Registry (NROR) stakeholder forum today in Arlington, Va., bringing together physicians, patient advocacy leaders, cancer survivors, health care society leaders, industry leaders, government agency principals and private payers to discuss the future of radiation oncology.

The NROR is a first of its kind registry that aims to collect global data on patient treatment planning, modalities used, and physician- and patient-reported outcomes that will ultimately be used for comparative effectiveness and quality improvement in radiation therapy cancer treatment.

“Bringing together all of these key radiation oncology stakeholders is such an important step in the future of our specialty,” Christopher Rose, MD, FASTRO, co-chairman of the NROR Executive Committee, said. “The discussions coming out of this forum and the data that will ultimately come out of this registry are vital for radiation oncologists and our patients. By collecting real world data, we will better understand our outcomes, treating patients more effectively, improving quality and saving health care dollars by more efficiently using our technologies.”

The ROI has made a strong commitment toward ensuring that the NROR involves all stakeholder groups in the development and implementation of the registry. To foster this goal, today, the stakeholders were introduced to the vision, mission, goals and progress of the NROR. The forum showcased the unique aspects of the NROR design, including collecting data from electronic medical records supplemented with Web-based forms and novel strategies using leading and emerging technologies for collecting patient reported outcomes;raised awareness of the NROR; gathered recommendations from the group and fostered long-term involvement from the community.

Multiple group discussions were held where stakeholders discussed their research needs and the outcomes that mattered most to them. Several key conclusions were reached to move the registry into the next phase.

A strong emphasis was placed on the need for patient-reported outcomes and building data collection methods into the treatment workflows that are already established in radiation therapy facilities.

Participants also agreed that members of the radiation oncology treatment team need to be accountable to their patients and understand that the results of registry data will impact the critical treatment decisions patients make every day.

Discussions will continue among the stakeholders and another forum will likely be held next year after the completion of the registry's pilot data collection program focusing on prostate cancer treatment.

The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) foundation created in 2006 by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. ROI strategically funds research on new and existing radiation therapy treatments to identify links between best practices and improved outcomes, to evaluate the efficacy and cost-benefit of radiation therapy and to foster multi-institutional research in radiation oncology. The ROI recently launched the National Radiation Oncology Registry (NROR) pilot program to collect standardized information about patient care to help inform quality improvement initiatives and provide meaningful benchmarks for the radiation oncology field.