The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
Recommendations from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists on early-stage breast cancer, low risk prostate cancer, palliation of bone metastases, and brain metastases. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) is a not-for-profit association of members who deliver skills, knowledge, insight, time and commitments to promote the science and practice of the medical specialties of clinical radiology (diagnostic and interventional) and radiation oncology in Australia and New Zealand.
Don't routinely add adjuvant whole-brain radiation therapy to stereotactic radiosurgery for limited brain metastases.
Randomised studies have demonstrated no overall survival benefit from the addition of adjuvant whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) to stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of selected patients with good performance status and brain metastases from solid tumors. The addition of WBRT to SRS is associated with diminished cognitive function and worse patient-reported fatigue and quality of life. These results are consistent with the worsened self-reported cognitive function and diminished verbal skills observed in randomised studies of prophylactic cranial irradiation for small cell or non-small cell lung cancer. Patients treated with radiosurgery for brain metastases are at higher risk of developing metastases elsewhere in the brain. Careful surveillance and the judicious use of salvage therapy at the time of brain relapse allow appropriate patients to enjoy the highest quality of life without a detriment in overall survival. Radiation oncologists should discuss these options with patients, including participation in appropriate clinical trials.
- Soffietti R, Kocher M, Abacioqlu UM, et al. A European organisation for research and treatment of cancer phase III trial of adjuvant whole-brain radiotherapy versus observation in patients with one to three brain metastases from solid tumors after surgical resection or radiosurgery: quality-of-life results. J Clin Oncol 2013;31(1):65-72.
- Chang EL, Wefel JS, Hess KR, et al. Neurocognition in patients with brain metastases treated with radiosurgery or radiosurgery plus whole-brain irradiation: a randomized controlled trial. Lancet Oncol 2009;10(11):1037-44.
- Aoyama H, Shirato H, Tago M, et al. Stereotactic radiosurgery plus whole-brain radiation therapy vs stereotactic radiosurgery alone for treatment of brain metastases: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2006;295(21):2483-91.
- Kocher M, Soffietti R, Abacioglu U, et al. Adjuvant whole-brain radiotherapy versus observation after radiosurgery or surgical resection of one to three cerebral metastases: results of the EORTC 22952-26001 study. J Clin Oncol 2011;29:134-41.
- Gondi V, Paulus R, Bruner DW, et al. Decline in tested and self-reported cognitive functioning after prophylactic cranial irradiation for lung cancer: pooled secondary analysis of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group randomized trials 0212 and 0214. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2013;86(4):656-64.
- Brown PD, Asher AL, Ballman KV, et al. NCCTG N0574 (Alliance): A phase III randomized trial of whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) in addition to radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with 1 to 3 brain metastases. J Clin Oncol 2015;33(18): suppl LBA4.
Clinical radiology recommendations 1-6 (April 2015)
A team of five Lead Radiologists were nominated to guide RANZCR's Choosing Wisely contribution. These Lead Radiologists analysed previous work completed by RANZCR, in particular a series of Education Modules for Appropriate Imaging Referrals.
These modules had been developed from an extensive evidence base and with multiple stakeholder input. Using the evidence from the Education Modules, the Lead Radiologists developed a draft recommendations list, which was then further developed and endorsed by RANZCR's Quality and Safety Committee, before being circulated to the RANZCR membership for consultation with a request for alternative recommendations. Member feedback was reviewed by the Lead Radiologists prior to ratification of the final recommendations by the Faculty of Clinical Radiology Council. The final six items selected were those that were felt to meet the goals of Choosing Wisely, i.e. those which are frequently requested or which might expose patients to unnecessary radiation.
Due to the fundamental role of diagnostic imaging in supporting diagnosis across the healthcare system, RANZCR worked closely with other Colleges throughout the project via the Advisory Panel. Following identification of two common recommendations with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, it was agreed by both Colleges to present these items jointly.
Radiation oncology recommendations 7-10 (September 2021)
Recommendations relating to radiation oncology from the Choosing Wisely and Choosing Wisely Canada were circulated around the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council to determine which recommendations were applicable to the Australian and New Zealand context. The selected recommendations were then put to the Quality Improvement and Economics and Workforce Committees, with each being asked to rank the recommendations. The five highest ranked recommendations were then put to the radiation oncology membership for consultation prior to being formally approved by the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council. Recommendations 7-10 are adapted from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2013 and 2014 lists. Recommendation 11 is adapted from Choosing Wisely Canada’s Oncology list. Each organisation was approached for—and subsequently granted—approval to adapt these recommendations as part of the Choosing Wisely Australia campaign.
This initial list has now been reviewed with recommendations 7, 8 & 10 remaining unchanged, recommendation 9 has been updated based on the advice of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Quality Improvement Committee and Recommendation 11 has been replaced based on the feedback of the Quality Improvement Committee and the Policy and Advocacy team.
- 1 Don’t request imaging for acute ankle trauma unless indicated by the Ottawa Ankle Rules (localised bone tenderness or inability to weight-bear as defined in the Rules).
- 2 Don’t request duplex compression ultrasound for suspected lower limb deep venous thrombosis in ambulatory outpatients unless the Wells Score (deep venous thrombosis risk assessment score) is greater than 2, OR if less than 2, D dimer assay is positive.
Don’t request any diagnostic testing for suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) unless indicated by Wells Score (or Charlotte Rule) followed by PE Rule-out Criteria (in patients not pregnant). Low risk patients in whom diagnostic testing is indicated should have PE excluded by a negative D dimer, not imaging.
- 4 Don't perform imaging for patients with non-specific acute low back pain and no indicators of a serious cause for low back pain.
- 5 Don't request imaging of the cervical spine in trauma patients, unless indicated by a validated clinical decision rule.
- 6 Don’t request computed tomography (CT) head scans in patients with a head injury, unless indicated by a validated clinical decision rule.
- 7 Don’t initiate whole-breast radiation therapy as a part of breast conservation therapy in women age ≥50 years with early-stage invasive breast cancer without considering shorter treatment schedules.
- 8 Don’t initiate management of low risk prostate cancer without discussing active surveillance.
- 9 Don’t routinely use more than one fraction for palliation of non-complex bone metastases.
- 10 Don't routinely add adjuvant whole-brain radiation therapy to stereotactic radiosurgery for limited brain metastases.