FRIDAY, April 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For patients receiving radiation therapy for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), education and implementation of a standardized cardiac dose quality measure is associated with a reduction in mean heart dose (MHD), according to a study recently published in Practical Radiation Oncology.

Noting that there is significant heterogeneity among treatment centers in the MHD for patients receiving radiation therapy for NSCLC, Daniel J. Herr, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the effects of education and initiation of standardized cardiac dose constraints on heart dose across a statewide consortium. The analyses included 1,681 patients from 27 academic and community centers who received radiation therapy for locally advanced NSCLC from 2012 to 2020. Education regarding cardiac dose constraints occurred consortium-wide starting in 2016; a quality metric requiring MHD <20 Gy while maintaining dose coverage to the target was implemented in 2019. Dose metrics were compared before (2012 to 2016) versus after (2017 to 2020) initiation of interventions.

The researchers found that the mean MHD decreased from an average of 12.2 Gy preintervention to 10.4 Gy postintervention, and there was a decrease from 21.1 to 10.3 percent in the percentage of patients receiving MHD >20 Gy. No increase was seen in mean lung dose and mean esophagus dose and there was no change noted in target coverage.

“This study is evidence that relatively simple interventions, when properly targeted, can be effective at improving patient care,” Herr said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, health insurance, and medical technology industries.

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