MISSION

EORTC has a strong track record in initiating and conducting radiotherapy-based clinical trials across disease types. The aim is to challenge, re-define and develop standards of care for loco-regional treatments. EORTC’s scientific projects are designed and conducted to integrate disciplines such as imaging, translational research, quality of life and quality assurance and are open to cooperative projects involving other EORTC groups and external cooperations, for example with neuro-oncology networks in Canada, Australia and the US. The group places special emphasis on recruiting and mentoring junior colleagues who are interested in pursuing an academic career in the field of radiation oncology. In addition, EORTC runs an extensive Radiotherapy Quality Assurance programme (RTQA) to ensure the consistency and reliability of imaging data across all EORTC clinical trials involving radiotherapy. In 2019, EORTC launched a radiation oncology initiative, the E²-RADIatE platform, that is gathering ‘real-world’ data on patients treated with radiotherapy in Europe.

PRACTICE CHANGING RESEARCH

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22787 – Is prophylactic para-aortic irradiation worthwhile in the treatment of advanced cervical carcinoma?

    EORTC found that para-aortic irradiation did not provide any benefit to high-risk patients with cervical cancer. It also found that extended field irradiation improved local control but increased digestive complications.

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22791 – Phase III trial of twice daily fractions versus single daily fraction radiotherapy in oropharyngeal carcinoma.

    EORTC found that high-dose radiotherapy was better than low-dose at local control and prolonging survival in patients with advanced oropharyngeal cancers.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 228544 – A randomized trial on dose-response in radiation therapy of low-grade cerebral glioma.

    EORTC demonstrated that providing patients with ‘low’-dose (45 Gy) radiotherapy, was equally good as the ‘high’-dose (59.4 Gy) radiotherapy provided. This meant that the ‘low’-dose not only improved tumor control but also reduced toxicity to low-grade glioma patients. This study contributed to determining the standard radiotherapy dose.

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22861 – Randomized phase II-III trial of radiotherapy alone or with concomitant chemotherapy in the treatment of anal carcinoma.

    Joint study of the EORTC Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer Group (GI Group) and the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group.

    EORTC found that combining a chemotherapy treatment of fluorouracil (5FU)–mitomycin-C (MMC), and radiotherapy improved locoregional control and spared colostomy in patients with locally advanced anal cancer.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22851 – Phase III trial of open accelerated fractionation vs conventional fractionation in the radiotherapy of advanced head and neck carcinoma.

    EORTC found that accelerated radiotherapy (given over a shorter period of time), improves locoregional control for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and a poor prognosis.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22863 – Phase III randomized clinical trial in high metastatic risk carcinoma of the prostate comparing pelvic radiotherapy plus LHRH analogue.

    Jointly with the EORTC Genito-Urinary Cancers Group

    EORTC found that combining androgen suppression (during and after) external irradiation improves disease-free and overall survival in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. This combined treatment approach was the first to show a major improvement in overall survival of patients, making it a gold standard of treatment.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22953 – Shortened irradiation scheme, continuous 5FU and fractionation of Mitomycin C in locally advanced anal carcinoma.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer Cooperative Group.

    EORTC found that in patients with locally advanced anal cancer, reducing gaps between radiotherapy sequences, delivering chemotherapy during the course of radiotherapy, and reducing irradiation, improved local control the cancer and overall survival of patients, while sparing them colostomy. This new treatment scheme has been considered the new standard of treatment for this type of cancer.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22845 – Phase III trial of radiation therapy vs no radiation therapy for cerebral gliomas (low grade astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma) of the adult.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group, the EORTC Brain Tumor Cooperative Group and the Medical Research Council (UK).

    EORTC found that post-operative radiotherapy significantly improved disease-free survival in adult patients with low-grade glioma.

    READ MORE

  • Genito-Urinary Group

    EORTC 22911 – Phase III study of post-operative external radiotherapy in pathological stage T3N0 prostatic carcinoma.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Genito-Urinary Tract Cancer Cooperative Group

    EORTC’s study with a seven-year follow-up in patients with prostate cancer at high risk of progression, confirmed that immediate external irradiation following complete surgical removal of the prostate improves biochemical progression free survival and local control after five years. Exploratory analyses suggested that postoperative irradiation might improve clinical progression free survival in patients younger than 70 years and in those with positive surgical margins, but could have a detrimental effect in patients 70 and older.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22952 – No Radiotherapy versus Whole Brain Radiotherapy for 1 to 3 Brain Metastases from Solid Tumor after Surgical Resection or Radiosurgery.

    A Randomized Phase III Trial.

    The role of whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) after either surgical resection or radiosurgery of brain metastases has been debated for many years. Previous studies have established a marginal advantage of WBRT for progression-free survival in patients with stable, solid brain tumors. However, because brain metastases cannot be cured and only symptoms can be treated, maintenance of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is very important. Therefore, this EORTC study found that additional whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) after surgery or radiosurgery negatively impacts heath-related quality of life in patients with brain metastases. These results help to better inform patients and oncologists on treatment options.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22881/10882 – Phase III study in the conservative management of breast carcinoma by tumorectomy and radiotherapy: assessment of the role of a booster dose of radiotherapy.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Breast Cancer Cooperative Group

    Since the introduction of breast-conserving treatment, various radiation doses after lumpectomy have been used. This EORTC study investigated the effect of additional radiation (radiation ‘boost’) on overall survival, local control, fibrosis (development of scar tissue) in patients with stage I and II breast cancer who underwent breast conserving therapy. After surgery and primary radiation, patients were assigned to received a radiation boost or no boost. In this 20 year follow up, results showed that a radiation boost after whole-breast irradiation, has no effect on long-term overall survival of the patient, but can improve local control, with the largest absolute benefit in young patients, although it increases the risk of moderate to severe fibrosis. In addition, it was advised that extra radiation should and can be avoided in most patients older that 60 years.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22922/10925 – Phase III randomized trial investigating the role of internal mammary and medial supraclavicular (IM-MS) lymph node chain irradiation in stage I-III breast cancer.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Breast Cancer Cooperative Group.

    There was a renewed interest in irradiation of regional lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer. However, conflicting evidence on the efficacy and toxicity of irradiation of lymph nodes led to uncertainties on its merit as a treatment for breast cancer. Therefore, to explore the effect of elective internal mammary and medial supraclavicular lymph-node irradiation on overall survival, EORTC studied this in breast patients between 1996 and 2004 with a median follow up of 10.9 years. Breast cancer patients who had undergone mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery and axillary dissection either received regional nodal irradiation or did not. Results showed that in patients with early-stage breast cancer, irradiation of the regional nodes, improved disease-free survival and distant disease-free survival and reduced mortality.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22991 – Three Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy / Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy alone vs Three Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy / Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy plus adjuvant hormonal therapy in localized T1b-c, T2a, N0, M0 prostatic carcinoma.

    A Phase III Randomized Study.

    Thirty percent of patients with high-risk prostate cancer who undergo radiation biochemically, relapse within 5 years. Because prostate cancer is directly linked to androgens, androgen suppression is often another treatment for this disease. This EORTC study investigated whether adding 6 months of androgen suppression after radiation would improve disease-free survival in patients with high-risk prostate cancer. Results showed that, even after a 7 year follow up, radiotherapy plus androgen suppression significantly improved both biochemical and clinical disease-free survival compared to radiotherapy alone.

    READ MORE

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22033/26033 – Primary chemotherapy with temozolomide vs. radiotherapy in patients with low grade gliomas after stratification for genetic 1p loss.

    A phase III study.

    EORTC found that postoperative chemotherapy and radiotherapy were equally as effective in prolonging progression-free survival in patients with low-grade glioma.

    READ MORE

  • Feb-88
  • Dec-92
  • Oct-96
  • May-97
  • Aug-97
  • Jul-02
  • Jan-03
  • Sep-05
  • Dec-12
  • Jan-13
  • Jan-15
  • Jul-15
  • May-16
  • Nov-16

LATEST PUBLICATIONS

Want to read in detail our scientific findings on specific tumour type?
Search through our comprehensive list of EORTC published articles to date.

Search for an article
Sign up