Clinical Trial Quality Assurance Imaging
and Radiation Oncology Core Group (IROC) Group
Conducting clinical research in the cooperative group setting requires a set of minimum standards and consistency of treatments defined for institutional participation in order for the results of clinical trials to be valid and generalizable to the broader oncology community. This is particularly relevant in the realm of technological assessment and innovation with new therapeutic modalities being tested in a multi-institutional environment. The NCI has recognized the importance of quality assurance in trials and has historically funded several quality assurance centers that support quality assurance for all existing NCI sponsored cooperative groups. These centers include the IROC Houston QA Center, Quality Assurance Review Center (QARC), Image Guided Therapy QA Center (ITC), American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN), Alliance Imaging Core Lab (Ohio State University), and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group QA (RTOG).
With the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations and the NCI’s reorganization of the clinical trial structure into a National Clinical Trial Network, the number of cooperative groups will decrease from 10 to 5 groups. This has required some of the groups to combine in a manner such that they offer trials that cover a wide range of treatment sites using all possible therapies to be prepared to respond to the NCI’s Funding Opportunity Announcement regarding the new clinical trial network. Along with the reorganization of the clinical trial cooperative groups, the aforementioned QA centers have been asked to form one united QA group that would provide QA services for both imaging and radiation oncology implemented within NCI sponsored trials. The QA centers have been working together now for nearly a year to harmonize their efforts to be prepared to respond to the NCI’s Funding Opportunity Announcement regarding the new clinical trial network.
The six QA centers, working together, are known as the Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core (IROC) Group. The mission of this group is to assure the National Cancer Institute and the Cooperative Study Groups that the outcomes generated from their clinical trials are obtained with the highest quality data by capitalizing on current and evolving QA programs in imaging and radiation oncology from a network of national clinical trial quality assurance offices. This mission will be accomplished with the vision of being the premier clinical trial quality assurance group in the world based on the knowledge and experience of our staffs, harmonization of efforts, dedication to trial QA and our scientific methods.