The role of medical physicists in clinical trials across Europe

Forfattere Marcu LG, Abbott NL, Appelt A, Chauvie S, Gasnier A, Hansen CR, Koutsouveli E, Lisbona A, Melidis C, O'Doherty J.
Kilde Phys Med. 2022 Aug;100:31-38 Publiceringsdato 17 jun 2022


Introduction: The roles and responsibilities of medical physicists (MPs) are growing together with the evolving science and technology. The complexity of today's clinical trials requires the skills and knowledge of MPs for their safe and efficient implementation. However, it is unclear to what extent the skillsets offered by MPs are being exploited in clinical trials across Europe.

Methods: The EFOMP Working Group on the role of Medical Physics Experts in Clinical Trials has designed a survey that targeted all 36 current National Member Organisations, receiving a response from 31 countries. The survey included both quantitative and qualitative queries regarding the involvement of MPs in trial design, setup, and coordination, either as trial team members or principal investigators.

Results: The extent of MPs involvement in clinical trials greatly varies across European countries. The results showed disparities between the roles played by MPs in trial design, conduct or data processing. Similarly, differences among the 31 European countries that responded to the survey were found regarding the existence of national bodies responsible for trials or the available training offered to MPs. The role of principal investigator or co-investigator was reported by 12 countries (39%), a sign of efficient collaboration with medical doctors in designing and implementing clinical studies.

Conclusion: Organisation of specific training courses and guideline development for clinical trial design and conduct would encourage the involvement of a larger number of MPs in all stages of trials across Europe, leading to a better standardisation of clinical practice.