An effort to reduce radiation in imaging

June 9, 2021

An effort by the Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium reduced excessive radiation treatments for bone metastases by 80% at healthcare centers across the state, according to findings published in Practical Radiation Oncology as reported in a news release from Michigan Medicine.

The two-year project focused on reducing the use of extended-fraction radiation therapy to treat pain from incurable cancer that had spread to patients’ bones. Once a standard practice, the American Society for Radiation Oncology has recommended against the routine use of extended-fraction radiation to relieve pain from bone metastases, especially more than 10 treatments.

The Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium, a collaborative quality initiative funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Care Network, made a push across its member sites to reduce the procedures in 2018. By the fall of 2020, the use of extended fraction for bone metastases fell from nearly 15% to just over 3% at 28 radiation facilities across the state.

More extended treatment was likely to happen at non-teaching hospitals and among physicians who had been practicing longer, the study of more than 1,400 patients found.

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