Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)
Our Radiation Oncology centers are RTOG member institutions. This membership provides us the ability to offer NCI Cooperative Group Clinical Trials to our patients.
RTOG (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group) is part of the Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program. The Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, which is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is designed to promote and support clinical trials (research studies) of new cancer treatments, explore methods of cancer prevention and early detection, and study quality-of-life issues and rehabilitation during and after cancer treatment. Cooperative groups include researchers, cancer centers, and community physicians throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. They work with the NCI to identify important questions in cancer research and to design clinical trials to answer these questions.
There are approximately 40 active RTOG clinical trials at this time from which our physicians can choose to open at our centers. RTOG membership also permits access to the Clinical Trials Support Unit (CTSU) which presently offers over 60 active clinical trials from multiple Cooperative Groups. The CTSU is another NCI sponsored program developed to help increase physician and patient access to NCI-sponsored clinical trials.
The physicians at our centers collaborate with the medical oncologists, urologists, surgeons, and various other specialists at our affiliate and referring hospitals to determine which clinical trials they would like to see open and available to their patients. These trials are then presented to an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval.
American College of Radiology (ACR)
Our Shields PET/CT, MRI, and Radiation Oncology locations are accredited by the ACR. The ACR awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of its practice. Image quality and procedure evaluations are conducted by board-certified radiologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. The program also evaluates personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs. All findings are reported to the practice via a comprehensive report that includes recommendations for improvement.
When you choose an ACR-accredited facility, you know:
- Your hospital, clinic, or health center has voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process to be sure it meets nationally-accepted standards.
- The personnel are well qualified, through education and certification, to perform and interpret your medical images and administer your radiation therapy treatments.
- The equipment is appropriate for the test or treatment you will receive, and the facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines.
Shields conducts business with a number of other highly regarded professional organizations, including:
- Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (founded an MRI technologist curriculum in partnership with Shields Health Care Group)
- American Society of Radiologic Technologists (certifies Shields technologists)
- Radiology Society of North America (accepted numerous abstracts and presentations by Shields CIO Patricia Whelan and several staff radiologists)