How efficient is translational research in radiation oncology? The example of a large Dutch academic radiation oncology department

Maria Jacobs*, Liesbeth Boersma, Frits V. Merode, Andre Dekker, Frank Verhaegen, Luc Linden, Philippe Lambin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To study the efficiency of research implementation in a large radiotherapy institute, in either an internal review board-approved clinical trial or clinical routine. Methods: Scientific publications of the institute were listed. We asked clinicians from tumour expert groups whether the study had been implemented yet in a clinical trial or in clinical practice and which facilitators or barriers were relevant. An independent investigator verified all results. We calculated the implementation rates and the frequency of mentioned facilitators and barriers. Results: Resident researchers had published 234 studies over the past 4 years. Overall, 70/234 (30%) technical or preclinical studies were tested or implemented in a clinical environment in either trials or routine. In total, 45/234 (19%) studies were routinely implemented; in the 61 clinical studies, this percentage was higher: 38% (23/61). The main facilitator was the level of evidence and the main barriers were workload and high complexity. Conclusion: We were able to calculate the implementation ratio of published research into clinical practice and set benchmark figures for other radiotherapy clinics. Level of evidence was an important facilitator, while workload and high complexity of the new procedures were important barriers for implementation. Recent articles suggest that academic entrepreneurship will facilitate this process further. Advances in knowledge: This study is the first of its kind calculating implementation rates of published studies in the clinical environment and can contribute to the efficiency of translational research in radiotherapy. We propose to use this metric as a quality indicator to evaluate academic departments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20160129
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1064
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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