Task group: ongoing projects

Survey about radiotherapy and dental or facial bones

PI: Shermaine Pan (Manchester), Marianne Aznar (Manchester)

Living with dental or facial effects post-radiotherapy can be challenging for patients. Since delineation of dental or facial bones is not part of routine clinical practice and is an area with very little international recommendation, a survey was launched to map current practices across SIOPE-affiliated centres. The results of the initial analysis have been shared during the 3th/online SIOPE Annual Meeting. The next steps will be presented at the 4th SIOPE Annual Meeting in Valencia.


Survey on the radiotherapy approaches for craniopharyngioma

PI: Geert Janssens/ Hanneke van Santen (Utrecht), Claire Allapetite (Paris), Sabina Venarrini (Milano)

Coordinated by the Craniopharyngioma platform of the SIOPE Brain Tumour Group, this survey aimed to map the current radiotherapy practice for craniopharyngioma. Information has been collected from 48 centres across SIOPE and demonstrates a wide range of applied RT-approaches, including the constraints for the surrounding (critical) structures. Currently, the core-group is processing the data, and an update will be given at the 4th SIOPE-meeting in Valencia, as well as the SIOPE-BTG-meeting in Berlin (September 7-8) .  


Survey on the use of CBCT-image guidance for brain and abdominal treatments

PI: Abigail Bryce-Atkinson (Manchester), Daniella Elisabet Ostergaard (Copenhagen)

Implementation of imaging protocols used for IGRT can differ a lot across the centres. This survey, which requested technical details including acquisition parameters and patient set-up techniques, required active participation of the clinical physicists. The outcome of this survey and the next steps to go will be presented at the 4th SIOPE-meeting in Valencia.


Working group on the organisation of anaesthesia in paediatric radiation oncology

PI: Lucas Opitz (anaesthesiologist Nice), Stephanie Bolle (Paris)

The organisation of anaesthesia during radiotherapy treatment preparation and/or treatment can be challenging for some centres and has been the reason to meet with a group of paediatric anaesthesiologists. Currently, we are inviting interested duos (one paediatric radiation oncologist + one paediatric anaesthesiologist from the same institute) to join this working group. The ambition o is to tackle all issues related to the organisation of anaesthesia around paediatric radiotherapy, but also to find solutions to reduce the number of radiotherapy procedures under anaesthesia. A first update to the paediatric radiotherapy community will take place during the 4th SIOPE annual meeting in Valencia.


SIOPE ROWG representatives meet LMIC ambassadors

PI: Geert Janssens (Utrecht), Gillian Whitfield (Manchester), Andrada Turcas (Cluj Napoca)

Despite the increase of cure rates for paediatric cancers, there is a significant discrepancy in outcome across Europe. Due to a lack of access to essential and modern components of the multidisciplinary treatment spectrum, disparities in survival rates of more than 20% and late side-effects are reality. Disparities have been confirmed in a recent survey performed in the context of ‘good clinical practice’ compliant treatment in paediatric radiation oncology. For this reason representatives of the SIOPE ROWG will meet ambassadors of the LMIC-regions in order to map the most urgent needs per country and to help with finding solutions.  


Paediatric brachytherapy

Survey on the organisation of paediatric brachytherapy across SIOPE-affiliated countries
PI: Geert Janssens, Hans Merks
Status: survey closed, project ongoing

The aim of this survey is to map the current brachytherapy practice and resources for paediatrics that can serve as a basis for improvement in care given the rarity of the indications and the complexity of the procedures. Over the last weeks, over 75 colleagues from 27 countries have completed the survey!

Currently, the data analysis in ongoing… and results will be discussed within the steering committee of the working group and the radiation oncologists involved in the European Paediatric Soft-tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG). 

Total body irradiation

Survey on Total Body Irradiation practices in paediatric patients across SIOPE-affiliated countries
PI: Bianca Hoeben, Montserrat Pazos, Geert Janssens
Status: survey closed, project ongoing

Since the ongoing ALL FORUM trial, comparing chemotherapy-only conditioning with chemotherapy plus TBI conditioning, has stopped randomization prematurely due to superior overall and event-free survival rates in the TBI-containing arm, there is a renewed interest in the technique of TBI.
Early 2020, a survey was launched and responses were collected from 82 centres across 25 countries. Although a high level of uniformity in fractionation and use of lung shielding has been observed, practices vary regarding other organs-at-risk shielding and implementation of advanced techniques.

Recently, the outcome of this survey has been published in the Green Journal (see “Recent Publications”). An international radiotherapy working group on TBI has been established, which is working on different TBI-related issues, as well as total marrow/lymph node irradiation.
More information can be obtained via the principle investigators or Anne.blondeel@siope.eu


Patient information provision

SIOPE patient information provision
PI: Bianca Hoeben, Cathy Dunlea
Status: project ongoing

In August 2020, early discussions of concept planning for a SIOPE information website for paediatric patients and their carers took place.

The aim of this project is to generate an online platform for SIOPE paediatric radiation oncology information, encompassing the work of a multidisciplinary group including radiation oncologists, therapeutic radiographers, physicists, and play specialists.

The initial content will include general information for paediatric radiotherapy, an exploration of the different types of radiotherapy, details of the procedures encountered along the radiotherapy pathway and an overview of side effects and late effects for this cohort.

During the next steps, additional information will be added to the website, and the content will be translated into the language of each SIOPE-affiliated country. 



Survey on surface guided radiation therapy (SGRT) for paediatrics across SIOPE-affiliated countries

PI: Enrica Seravalli, Geert Janssens
Status: survey closed, project ongoing

The growing recognition of the advantages of SGRT in the radiotherapy workflow has supported its recent spread in a large number of radiation oncology facilities. However, SGRT-based monitoring of pediatric treatments is not widely used and literature is limited.

The aim of this survey is to map the current SGRT practice in pediatrics that can serve as a basis for centers considering to invest in SGRT systems.

The results were shared during the 2nd Annual SIOPE meeting