An increasing number of patients are treated with high-dose radiotherapy to a previously irradiated area of the body, commonly referred to as re-irradiation. Re-irradiation might offer effective treatment for a significant number of patients with otherwise limited therapeutic options.
Still, high level prospective evidence on re-irradiation is scarce, especially with regards to optimal patient selection and the safety of high cumulative doses. While the understanding of the relation between dose, volume, and late effects of irradiation has evolved considerably over the last years, the tolerance of normal tissue to re-irradiation is largely unknown. Therefore, the currently available data do not allow firm assumptions on the safety and efficacy of high-dose re-irradiation, and cannot provide proper evidence to guide clinical practice and inform consistent standards.
We therefore established ReCare (EORTC 2011-RP), a prospective observational registry cohort on high-dose re-irradiation within the E2-RADIatE platform (NCT), to gather real-world data on patients treated with high-dose re-irradiation. As part of the ReCare initiative, we established a consortium of international experts, including radiation oncologists, medical physicists and clinical oncologists, to propose a definition of re-irradiation, develop reporting guidelines for research studies and offer recommendations for re-irradiation decision making in clinical practice.
Additionally, we are conducting a survey to determine the patterns of care of re-irradiation in Europe. This survey has been endorsed by the ESTRO National Societies Committee.
The link to the survey is https://forms.gle/DCjZkRMEm4Pk6HTQA. We kindly ask you to support this effort by completing the accompanying survey, which should not take longer than 10 minutes.
The findings of this survey will be published in a scientific journal, inform the community about trends and current practices in re-irradiation, and guide the development of future research projects.
We sincerely thank you for your time and contribution.
Jonas Willmann, Nicolaus Andratschke, Carsten Nieder
Study Coordinators of the ReCare cohort