Quality Assurance Review Center

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Overview

The Quality Assurance Review Center (QARC) is a publicly funded, not-for-profit healthcare organization located in Providence, Rhode Island. QARC provides radiotherapy quality assurance and diagnostic imaging data management to all of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored cooperative groups.[1] In addition, QARC contracts privately with the pharmaceutical industry to provide its services in clinical trials for anti-cancer drugs.[2] The center receives radiotherapy data from around one-thousand hospitals in both the United States and abroad.[3] Over thirty-thousand cases have been reviewed at QARC since its inception in 1977.[4] The center also maintains a strategic affiliation with the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts.[5]

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Quality Assurance Review Center

Departments and Divisions

QARC is divided into three separate sectors, namely that of Physics/Dosimetry, Data Management, and Operations.

Physics/Dosimetry Department

The Physics/Dosimetry department is primarily concerned with evaluating the radiation dose calculations submitted with each patient on any given protocol. In addition, the department works closely with various institutions, which include the public oncology groups and the private pharmaceutical industry, to develop and implement new benchmarks for specific areas of radiation therapy. In keeping with its responsibility as a quality assurance agent, the department participates in initial, interventional, and final reviews so as to assure the highest degree of integrity with regard to protocol guidelines.

Data Management Division

The Data Management division receives and processes all forms of data relating to any given patient on any given protocol. Typical forms of data include diagnostic imaging, physics benchmarks, and radiology reports. The diagnostic imaging segment of data management usually involves Computed Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. Occasionally, QARC will obtain Gallium and Bone scans insofar as a protocal mandates them. With the shift toward nuclear medicine in radiology, QARC seeks to build and maintain a vast database with its data management division.

Operations Department

The Operations department is predominantly focused on constructing and sustaining working relationships between QARC and the various NCI supported oncology groups as well as the pharmaceutical industry. It also collaborates with its UMASS Medical School affiliate in matters pertaining to accounting and employment. Past and present pharmaceutical contracts for clinical trials at QARC include Sanofi-Aventis, Amgen, and GlaxoSmithKline.[6] The NCI oncology groups including ACOSOG, COG, ECOG, SWOG, and CALGB all mandate that the radiotherapy materials for their protocols be sent to QARC for review.[7]

References

  1. http://www.qarc.org/ Quality Assurance Review Center
  2. http://www.qarc.org/ Quality Assurance Review Center
  3. http://www.qarc.org/ Quality Assurance Review Center
  4. http://www.qarc.org/ Quality Assurance Review Center
  5. http://www.qarc.org/ Quality Assurance Review Center
  6. http://www.qarc.org/ Quality Assurance Review Center
  7. http://www.qarc.org/ Quality Assurance Review Center

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