MROQC Advances Prostate Cancer Care in Michigan

The Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium (MROQC), established in 2011, launched with a clear mission to enhance care for breast and lung cancer patients in Michigan. In 2020, the collaborative launched a new pilot initiative focused on prostate cancer. 

The MROQC Prostate Initiative

For over a decade, MROQC has served as a vital resource for radiation oncologists, enabling them to provide patient-centered, high-quality, and cost-effective care for breast and lung cancer patients, and cancer patients with bone metastases.

In 2020, MROQC was ready to launch a new initiative: the Prostate Working Group. The group, initially a six-facility pilot, achieved full consortium-wide enrollment by mid-2021. Its primary focus aligns with MRQOC’s overarching mission: to enhance the quality of patient-centered radiation therapy. From the outset, the group has recognized that the care of patients with prostate cancer is increasingly complex. 
“This initiative uniquely combines comprehensive data from both a large urologic patient database and a large radiation oncology database to gain insight into the current treatment of prostate cancer,” says Dr. David K. Heimburger, Medical Director of  Radiation Oncology at Munson Medical Center and MROQC Prostate Quality Improvement Working Group Co-Lead. 

CQI Collaboration 

To advance this project's work in prostate cancer, MROQC partnered with the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MUSIC) to share patient data through a robust matching process, developed by the MROQC analytic team. This collaboration enables a more comprehensive approach and has a greater impact on the group’s targeted areas. MROQC Co-Director and Prostate Working Group co-lead Dr. Robert Dess highlighted the importance of this collaboration for the initiative’s continued success.

“The MROQC and MUSIC collaboration is a significant win for patients,” Dess emphasized. “Prostate cancer care is increasingly multidisciplinary and requires input from multiple specialties. By combining large datasets in radiation oncology and urology, we can gain valuable insights that are only possible through this unique connection.” 

How It Works

Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy afflicting men. There are multiple treatment options ranging from active surveillance to definitive treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy. 

For patients requiring radiation, treatment techniques are rapidly evolving, leading to significant variation in the treatments delivered nationwide. The MROQC Prostate Working Group improves patient care by promoting the use of the most effective and efficient treatments, educating members on the newest radiation treatment planning techniques based on MRI anatomy, and assessing performance metrics that allow comparison to peers and promote process improvement. A key component of the group has been collecting patient reported outcomes before and after treatment to provide valuable input directly from patients.  

The Future of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Through the collaboration between MROQC and MUSIC, providers have access to the most up-to-date data, enhancing our understanding of the treatment options for our patients. This collaboration serves as a model for future joint CQI efforts, and is poised to inspire additional successful partnerships with each CQI enhancing each other’s work.

For prostate cancer patients, the MROQC Prostate Working Group provides additional guidance to providers, helping them deliver more precise and patient- centered radiation therapy. Looking ahead, MROQC aims to ensure that high-quality, high-value radiation oncology innovations are accessible to all patients in Michigan. 

For More Information

Additional resources can be found on the MROQC website: