The Canadian Big Radiotherapy Data Initiative 

Welcome to the Canadian Big Radiotherapy Data Initiative


There is acknowledged to be local, regional and national variation in radiation treatment prescribing practice. This variability, while partially explained by patient-to-patient differences, may be the result of a number of things: historical precedent, practitioner preference, integration of new evidence into clinical practice and regional differences in the availability of treatment technologies and expertise.

The ability of capitalize on this “big data” provides us with an opportunity to measure variability in treatment plans by addressing both how to collect plan data from multiple centres and what data needs to be collected, while focusing on the balance between individualized care and standardization.

A common nomenclature is critical to big data analysis, and was the focus of the AAPM TG 263 Report: Standardizing Nomenclatures in Radiation Oncology.  As a first step towards the assessment of radiotherapy data, CPQR has launched the Canadian Big Radiotherapy Data Initiative (CBRTDI).  The initiative aims to provide guidance on how to implement standardized nomenclature within your program and how to get prepared for pan-Canadian data sharing.

What are the long-term objectives?

Standardized nomenclature across programs, provinces, regions and Canada will help CPQR lay the foundation for implementing pan-Canadian collection and analysis of clinical and radiation treatment plans.  This early work will make it easier for us to link big data – treatment plans and patient reported outcomes, and understand the impact of treatment on patients.