Quantitative radiology reporting in oncology: Survey of oncologists and radiologists

Les R. Folio, Chelsye J. Nelson, Menashe Benjamin, Ayelet Ran, Guy Engelhard, David A. Bluemke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Tumor quantification is essential for determining the clinical efficacy and response to established and evolving therapeutic agents in cancer trials. The purpose of this study was to seek the opinions of oncologists and radiologists about quantitative interactive and multimedia reporting. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Questionnaires were distributed to 253 oncologists and registrars and to 35 radiologists at our institution through an online survey application. Questions were asked about current reporting methods, methods for Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) tumor measurement, and preferred reporting format. RESULTS. The overall response rates were 43.1% (109/253) for oncologists and 80.0% (28/35) for radiologists. The oncologists treated more than 40 tumor types. Most of the oncologists (65.7% [67/102]) and many radiologists (44.4% [12/27]) (p = 0.020) deemed the current traditional qualitative radiology reports insufficient for reporting tumor burden and communicating measurements. Most of the radiologists (77.8% [21/27]) and oncologists (85.5% [71/83]) (p = 0.95) agreed that key images with measurement annotations helped in finding previously measured tumors; however, only 43% of radiologists regularly saved key images. Both oncologists (64.2% [70/109]) and radiologists (67.9% [19/28]) (p = 0.83) preferred the ability to hyperlink measurements from reports to images of lesions as opposed to textonly reports. Approximately 60% of oncologists indicated that they handwrote tumor measurements on RECIST forms, and 40% used various digital formats. Most of the oncologists (93%) indicated that managing tumor measurements within a PACS would be superior to handwritten data entry and retyping of data into a cancer database. CONCLUSION. Oncologists and radiologists agree that quantitative interactive reporting would be superior to traditional text-only qualitative reporting for assessing tumor burden in cancer trials. A PACS reporting system that enhances and promotes collaboration between radiologists and oncologists improves quantitative reporting of tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)W233-W243
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Productivity
  • Quality improvement
  • Radiology reports
  • Tumor metrics
  • Work flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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