How many clinical trials teams have good communication with their radiology team? Unfortunately, the answer is: Not many. Oncology is one of the main areas of research and all oncology clinical trials involve radiology teams. Of course, the radiology teams participation is not limited only to oncology studies. However, it is still common clinical trials teams not to have a good relation with radiology teams. Part of the challenge is that often radiologists work on rotation in different hospitals.

Why do we need to involve radiology teams in clinical trials set up?

  • Radiologists can assess the imaging requirements for the study and if they can be performed at the hospital.
  • Radiology teams can point out potential logistic issues, reactive shortages, etc.
  • Radiology team can provide information on their current workload and potential challenges.
  • Better communication with clinical trials team and clear procedures to follow the protocol assessments.

It is common clinical trials teams to presume that just because the equipment is available at the hospital, there will be no issues with performing the procedures as per protocol. But the reality could be quite different. Do not “surprise” your radiology team with additional workload without consulting with them first. Lots of radiology teams have waiting lists and are under resourced. 

What are the consequences of not involving radiology team in clinical trials set up?

  • Delayed recruitment.
  • Unperformed procedures or delayed radiology reports.
  • Inadequate imaging as per protocol requirements.
  • Logistic issues.
  • Radiology team may decline the study after it is set up and clinical trials team will need to find alternative solution for imaging.
  • Frustration and increased workload in radiology team.

Working in close collaboration with all teams involved in the clinical trial is critical for the success of the study. All teams are equally important and good communication with radiology team could affect significantly clinical research performance at the hospital.  

Author: Olga Peycheva

Olga is a clinical research professional who has been working in clinical research since 2005. She has extensive experience in clinical research in Eastern and Western Europe. 

Originally published on 1 July 2015