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Open Access Research

Connection of European particle therapy centers and generation of a common particle database system within the European ULICE-framework

Kerstin A Kessel1, Nina Bougatf13, Christian Bohn2, Daniel Habermehl1, Dieter Oetzel1, Rolf Bendl3, Uwe Engelmann2, Roberto Orecchia4, Piero Fossati4, Richard Pötter5, Manjit Dosanjh6, Jürgen Debus1 and Stephanie E Combs1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany

2 CHILI GmbH, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 2, 69221, Dossenheim, Germany

3 Department of Medical Informatics, Heilbronn University, Max-Planck-Str. 39, 74081, Heilbronn, Germany

4 National Centre for Oncological Hadrontherapy, via Caminadella 16, 20123, Milano, Italy

5 Medical University of Vienna, Department of Radiotherapy, 18-20 Währinger Gürtel, 1090, Vienna, Austria

6 CERN, 1211, Geneva 23, Switzerland

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Radiation Oncology 2012, 7:115  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-7-115

Published: 24 July 2012

Abstract

Background

To establish a common database on particle therapy for the evaluation of clinical studies integrating a large variety of voluminous datasets, different documentation styles, and various information systems, especially in the field of radiation oncology.

Methods

We developed a web-based documentation system for transnational and multicenter clinical studies in particle therapy. 560 patients have been treated from November 2009 to September 2011. Protons, carbon ions or a combination of both, as well as a combination with photons were applied. To date, 12 studies have been initiated and more are in preparation.

Results

It is possible to immediately access all patient information and exchange, store, process, and visualize text data, any DICOM images and multimedia data. Accessing the system and submitting clinical data is possible for internal and external users. Integrated into the hospital environment, data is imported both manually and automatically. Security and privacy protection as well as data validation and verification are ensured. Studies can be designed to fit individual needs.

Conclusions

The described database provides a basis for documentation of large patient groups with specific and specialized questions to be answered. Having recently begun electronic documentation, it has become apparent that the benefits lie in the user-friendly and timely workflow for documentation. The ultimate goal is a simplification of research work, better study analyses quality and eventually, the improvement of treatment concepts by evaluating the effectiveness of particle therapy.

Keywords:
Particle therapy; Multicenter clinical studies; Documentation system