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Methodological challenges collecting parent phone-call healthcare utilization data

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:36pm

Recommendations by the National Institute of Nursing Research and other groups have strongly encouraged nurses to pay greater attention to cost-effectiveness analysis when conducting research. Given the increasing prominence of translational science and comparative effective research, cost-effective analysis has become a basic tool in determining intervention value in research. Tracking phone-call communication (number of calls and context) with cross-checks between parents and healthcare providers is an example of this type of healthcare utilization data collection. This article identifies some methodological challenges that have emerged in the process of collecting this type of data in a randomized controlled trial: Parent education Through Simulation-Diabetes (PETS-D). We also describe ways in which those challenges have been addressed with comparison data results, and make recommendations for future research.

Endovascular repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms does not reduce later mortality compared with open repair

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:36pm

OBJECTIVE: Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (RAAAs) reduces in-hospital mortality compared with open repair (OR), but it is unknown whether EVAR reduces long-term mortality. We hypothesized that EVAR of RAAA would independently reduce long-term mortality compared with OR.

METHODS: The Vascular Quality Initiative database (2003-2013) was used to determine Kaplan-Meier 1-year and 5-year mortality after EVAR and OR of RAAA. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify patient and operative characteristics associated with mortality at 1 year and 5 years after RAAA repair.

RESULTS: Among 590 patients who underwent EVAR and 692 patients who underwent OR of RAAA, the lower mortality seen in the hospital after EVAR (EVAR 23% vs OR 35%; P < .001) persisted at 1 year (EVAR 34% vs OR 42%; P = .001) and 5 years (EVAR 50% vs OR 58%; P = .003) after repair. After adjusting for patient and operative characteristics, EVAR did not independently reduce mortality at 1 year (hazard ratio [HR], 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7-1.1) or 5 years (HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.77-1.2) compared with OR. Dialysis dependence (HR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.8-8.6), home oxygen use (HR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3-2.7), cardiac ejection fraction < 50% (HR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.03-2.1), female gender (HR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.04-1.6), and age (HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.05-1.08 per 5 years) as well as cardiac arrest (HR, 3.4; 95% CI, 2.5-4.5), loss of consciousness (HR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3-2.2), and preoperative systolic blood pressure < 90 mm Hg (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8) on admission predicted mortality at 1 year and 5 years after RAAA repair. Type I endoleak (HR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2-3.8) also predicted mortality at 1 year.

CONCLUSIONS: EVAR does not independently reduce long-term mortality compared with OR. Patient comorbidities and indices of shock on admission are the primary independent determinants of long-term mortality. However, the lower early mortality observed in the Vascular Quality Initiative for patients selected to undergo EVAR of RAAA compared with patients selected for OR is sustained over time, suggesting that EVAR for RAAA is beneficial in appropriate candidates. Better elucidation of the key selection factors, including aneurysm anatomy, is needed to best select patients for EVAR and OR to reduce long-term mortality.

Developing Research and Community Literacies to Recruit Latino Researchers and Practitioners to Address Health Disparities

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:36pm

Engaging community residents and undergraduate Latino students in developing research and community literacies can expose both groups to resources needed to address health disparities. The bidirectional learning process described in this article developed these literacies through an ethnographic mapping fieldwork activity that used a learning-by-doing method in combination with reflection on the research experience. The active efforts of research team members to promote reflection on the research activities were integral for developing research and community literacies. Our findings suggest that, through participating in this field research activity, undergraduate students and community residents developed a better understanding of resources for addressing health disparities. Our research approach assisted community residents and undergraduate students by demystifying research, translating scientific and community knowledge, providing exposure to multiple literacies, and generating increased awareness of research as a tool for change among community residents and their organizations. The commitment of the community and university leadership to this pedagogical method can bring out the full potential of mentoring, both to contribute to the development of the next generation of Latino researchers and to assist community members in their efforts to address health disparities.

Aging Well: Observations From the Women's Health Initiative Study

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:36pm

BACKGROUND: As the proportion of the population aged 80 and over accelerates, so does the value of understanding the processes of aging well. The purposes of this article are to: (a) review contemporary theoretical and conceptual perspectives on aging well, (b) describe indicators of aging well that reflect key concepts and perspectives as assessed in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and (c) characterize the status of aging among women aged 80 and older using data obtained from WHI participants at the WHI Extension 2 follow-up.

METHODS: Data from the Lifestyle Questionnaire, which was administered from 2011 to 2012 during the WHI Follow-up Study (Extension 2), were analyzed to provide a profile of the WHI cohort with respect to aging well.

RESULTS: Data revealed substantial diversity in the cohort with respect to the various measures of aging well. Although many reported physical functioning levels consistent with disability, most rated their health as good or better. Most reported moderately high levels of resilience, self-control, and self-mastery but lower levels of environmental mastery. Finally, the cohort reported high levels of optimal aging as reflected by their high levels of emotional well-being and moderately high levels of life satisfaction and social support, but more modest levels of personal growth and purpose in life.

CONCLUSIONS: The wide range of some dimensions of aging well suggest that further examination of predictors of positive coping and resilience in the face of aging-related disability could identify opportunities to support and facilitate aging well among U.S. women.

Physical Functioning Among Women Aged 80 Years and Older With Previous Fracture

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

BACKGROUND: The oldest old are the fastest growing segment of the elderly population. Little is known regarding the associations of fracture history with physical functioning assessed after age 80.

METHODS: Among 33,386 women surviving to age 80 years (mean +/- SD years 84.6 +/- 3.4), we examined the relationship between history of incident fracture after entry into the Women's Health Initiative (follow-up 15.2 +/- 1.3 years) and their physical functioning assessed using the RAND-36 instrument most proximal to 2012 end of follow-up.

RESULTS: Baseline mean (+/-SD) physical function score was 82 (+/- 18). After adjustment for demographic and medical characteristics, fracture at each site, including hip, upper limb, lower limb, and central body, was associated with significantly lower subsequent physical functioning (all p < .001). Hip, upper leg, spine, and pelvis fractures were particularly related with lower physical functioning scores, 11.7 (95% CI: 10.3, 13.1), 10.5 (8.8, 12.3), 9.8 (8.9, 10.8), and 8.7 (7.2, 10.2) units lower, respectively, compared with women without fracture (each p < .0001). Compared with women without central site fracture, women with central site fractures also had lower physical functioning scores (10.0 [9.3, 10.8] units lower]; p < .0001). In case-only analysis of fractures, older age, less than 1 year since fracture, one or more additional sites fractured, history of cardiovascular disease or cancer, higher body mass index, and no alcohol intake in the past 3 months also were independent predictors of lower physical functioning score (all p < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Among women surviving to 80 years and older, prior fracture is associated with lower current physical functioning, regardless of anatomical site of fracture, independent of other major predictors of disability.

The Impact of Multimorbidity and Coronary Disease Comorbidity on Physical Function in Women Aged 80 Years and Older: The Women's Health Initiative

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

BACKGROUND: A better understanding of medically centered outcomes, such as physical function, for older women with multiple chronic conditions is a national public health priority.

METHODS: The prevalence of multimorbidity (defined as having 2 chronic conditions from a list of 12) and comorbidity with coronary disease (CHD) were calculated for 33,386 women who were enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative since 1993-1998 and were > /= 80 years old by mid-September 2012. Associations between multimorbidity and CHD comorbidity on RAND-36 physical function scores were estimated using linear regression models.

RESULTS: The prevalence of multimorbidity in this sample was 59%. Women with 0-1 chronic condition had a mean physical function score of 74 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 73, 74). Relative decrements in physical function scores were -8 (95% CI: -8, -7), -13 (95% CI: -14, -12) and -19 (95% CI: -20, -18) in women with 2, 3, and > /= 4 chronic conditions, respectively. Women with CHD in combination with hip fractures or cognitive impairment had the largest adjusted decreases in physical function scores compared to the scores for women with CHD only. The impact of select characteristics on physical function scores between multimorbid and non-multimorbid women were similar; however, overall mean physical functions scores were lower for women with multmorbidity.

CONCLUSIONS: Multimorbidity profoundly impacted physical functioning in women aged more than 80 years. Modifiable risk factors, such as obesity and physical activity, were similar in older women regardless of multimorbidity status and provide targets for health interventions aimed at preventing loss of late-age physical functioning.

Predictors of Optimal Cognitive Aging in 80+ Women: The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

BACKGROUND: Independent predictors of preserved cognitive functioning and factors associated with maintaining high preserved cognitive function in women > /= 80 years remain elusive.

METHODS: Two thousand two hundred twenty-eight women with a mean age of 85 years who participated in the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study were classified as cognitively normal (n = 1,905, 85.5%), mild cognitive impairment (n = 88, 3.9%), dementia (n = 121, 5.4%) or other cognitive impairment (n = 114, n = 5.1%) by central adjudication. Global cognitive functioning was assessed using telephone interview for cognitive status-modified in those women who did not meet cognitive impairment criteria. Differences between women grouped by cognitive status with respect to each potential risk factor were assessed using chi-squared tests and t-tests. Backward stepwise logistic regression was used to select factors that were independently associated with cognitive status.

RESULTS: Factors associated with preserved cognitive functioning were younger age, higher education, and family incomes, being non-Hispanic white, better emotional wellbeing, fewer depressive symptoms, more insomnia complaints, being free of diabetes, and not carrying the apolipoprotein E-epsilon 4 allele. Cognitively normal women who demonstrated sustained high preserved cognition were younger, more educated, and endorsed better self-reported general health, emotional wellbeing, and higher physical functioning.

CONCLUSIONS: Addressing sociodemographic disparities such as income inequality, and targeting interventions to improve depressive symptoms and vascular risk factors, including diabetes, may play an important role in preserving cognition among women who survive to 80 years of age. Person-centered approaches that combine interventions to improve physical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning may promote maintenance of high preserved cognitive health in the oldest-old.

Correlates of Successful Aging in Racial and Ethnic Minority Women Age 80 Years and Older: Findings from the Women's Health Initiative

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

BACKGROUND: Most research has focused on definitions and predictors of successful aging. However, racial/ethnic minorities are often under represented in this research. Given that the U.S. population is aging and becoming more racially diverse, we examined correlates of "successful aging," as defined by physical functioning and overall quality of life (QOL), among racial/ethnic minority women aged 80 years and older in the Women's Health Initiative.

METHODS: Participants included 1,924 racial/ethnic minority women (African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic/Latinos, and American Indian/Alaskan Natives) 80 years of age and older who are enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative and have physical functioning data after turning 80 years of age. Analysis of covariance was used to examine between and within group differences in physical functioning and selfrated overall QOL for African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Hispanic/Latinos.

RESULTS: We found no significant differences in physical functioning between racial/ethnic minority groups in adjusted analyses. However, overall QOL was significantly different between racial/ethnic minority groups. Age, recreational physical activity, and overall selfrated health were independent correlates of physical functioning across racial/ethnic minority groups, whereas overall selfrated health was the only consistent correlate of overall QOL across the minority groups for the within minority group comparisons.

CONCLUSIONS: Between racial/ethnic minority group differences in physical functioning are largely explained by demographic, psychosocial, behavioral, and health-related variables. We found statistically significant differences in selfrated overall QOL between racial/ethnic minority groups. Gerontological Society of America.

Relationships Between Current and Past Binge Drinking and Systolic Blood Pressure in Young Adults

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

PURPOSE: Heavy episodic (i.e., "binge") drinking (i.e., >/=five drinks/occasion) is highly prevalent among young adults; those who binge do so four times per month on average, consuming nine drinks on average on each occasion. Although it is well established that chronic heavy drinking ( > /=two alcoholic beverages per day) increases the risk of hypertension, the relationship between binge drinking and blood pressure is not well described. Our aim was to describe the relationship between frequency of binge drinking, both current (at age 24 years) and past (at age 20 years), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) at age 24 years.

METHODS: Participants (n = 756) from the longitudinal Nicotine Dependence in Teens study reported alcohol consumption at ages 20 and 24 years and had SBP measured at age 24 years. We examined the association between binge drinking and SBP using multiple linear regression, controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, education, monthly drinking in high school, cigarette smoking, and body mass index.

RESULTS: Compared to nonbinge drinkers, SBP at age 24 years was 2.61 [.41, 4.82] mm Hg higher among current monthly bingers and 4.03 [1.35, 6.70] mm Hg higher among current weekly bingers. SBP at age 24 years was 2.90 [.54, 5.25] mm Hg higher among monthly bingers at age 20 years and 3.64 [.93, 6.35] mm Hg higher among weekly bingers at age 20 years, compared to nonbinge drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Frequent binge drinking at ages 20 and 24 years is associated with higher SBP at age 24 years and may be implicated in the development of hypertension.

E-cigarettes: addressing gaps in knowledge

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

This commentary is part of the special issue “Electronic Cigarettes and Public Health”.

Whither the e-cigarette

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

This editorial is part of the special issue “Electronic Cigarettes and Public Health”.

Emerging role of long noncoding RNAs as regulators of innate immune cell development and inflammatory gene expression

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

The innate immune system represents the first line of defense during infection and is initiated by the detection of conserved microbial products by germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Sensing through PRRs induces broad transcriptional changes that elicit powerful inflammatory responses. Tight regulation of these processes depends on multiple regulatory checkpoints, including noncoding RNA species such as microRNAs. In addition, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have recently gained attention as important regulators of gene expression acting through versatile interactions with DNA, RNA, or proteins. As such, these RNAs have a multitude of mechanisms to modulate gene expression. Here, we summarize recent advances in this rapidly moving and evolving field. We highlight the contribution of lncRNAs to both the development and activation of innate immune cells, whether it is in the nucleus, where lncRNAs alter the transcription of target genes through interaction with transcription factors, chromatin-modifying complexes or heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein complexes, or in the cytosol where they can control the stability of target mRNAs. In addition, we discuss experimental approaches required to comprehensively investigate the function of a candidate noncoding RNA locus, including loss-of-function approaches encompassing genomic deletions, RNA interference, locked nucleic acids, and various adaptions of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

Relationship between early symptoms of alcohol craving and binge drinking 2.5 years later

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

BACKGROUND: The first self-reported symptoms of nicotine dependence (e.g., as craving) can appear within days to weeks of the onset of occasional use, and the appearance of symptoms predicts future consumption and dependence. We sought to determine whether craving for alcohol occurs in early stages of adolescent alcohol use, and whether it predicts future binge drinking, a prevalent and problematic behavior.

METHODS: Longitudinal (30-month) four-wave study of 3415 students (M=12.5 years at baseline) from 29 German schools. Students reported five symptoms of alcohol craving on a scale developed based on well-validated measures for tobacco. Multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression was used to predict having five or more binge episodes by last follow-up, based on the number of symptoms reported before the first lifetime binge. Multiple imputation was used to address study drop-out.

RESULTS: At baseline, 23% reported at least one symptom, increasing to 54% at wave 4. Any report of symptoms at baseline was associated with frequency of alcohol use, being present in 100% of daily, 93% of weekly, 87% of monthly, 48% of infrequent drinkers, and 16% of ever drinkers reporting no current alcohol use. Moreover, symptoms at baseline independently predicted frequent binge drinking 2.5 years later, AOR=2.08 (95% CI 1.39, 3.11; p < 0.001) among baseline never-bingers, after adjusting for covariates.

CONCLUSIONS: Some early-onset drinkers reported symptoms of alcohol craving and loss of control after minimal exposure to alcohol. If replicated, an early screener could be developed to identify those at risk for frequent binge drinking.

Hospitals' Patterns of Use of Noninvasive Ventilation in Patients With Asthma Exacerbation

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:35pm

BACKGROUND: Limited data are available on the use of noninvasive ventilation in patients with asthma exacerbations. The objective of this study was to characterize hospital patterns of noninvasive ventilation use in patients with asthma and to evaluate the association with the use of invasive mechanical ventilation and case fatality rate.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study used an electronic medical record dataset, which includes comprehensive pharmacy and laboratory results from 58 hospitals. Data on 13,558 patients admitted from 2009 to 2012 were analyzed. Initial noninvasive ventilation (NIV) or invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) was defined as the first ventilation method during hospitalization. Hospital-level risk-standardized rates of NIV among all admissions with asthma were calculated by using a hierarchical regression model. Hospitals were grouped into quartiles of NIV to compare the outcomes.

RESULTS: Overall, 90.3% of patients with asthma were not ventilated, 4.0% were ventilated with NIV, and 5.7% were ventilated with IMV. Twenty-two (38%) hospitals did not use NIV for any included admissions. Hospital-level adjusted NIV rates varied considerably (range, 0.4-33.1; median, 5.2%). Hospitals in the highest quartile of NIV did not have lower IMV use (5.4% vs 5.7%), but they did have a small but significantly shorter length of stay. Higher NIV rates were not associated with lower risk-adjusted case fatality rates.

CONCLUSIONS: Large variation exists in hospital use of NIV for patients with an acute exacerbation of asthma. Higher hospital rates of NIV use does not seem to be associated with lower IMV rates. These results indicate a need to understand contextual and organizational factors contributing to this variability.

Multilevel Analysis of Municipal Officials' Participation in Land Use Policies Supportive of Active Living: City and Individual Factors

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:34pm

PURPOSE: To investigate individual- and city-level factors associated with municipal officials' participation in a local land use policy that supports active living.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Eighty-three cities in eight states.

SUBJECTS: Four hundred thirteen elected and appointed officials with various job functions including mayors, city councilors, aldermen, selectmen, city or town managers, and heads of departments of planning, community development, public works, transportation, engineering, parks and recreation, neighborhood services, and public health.

MEASURES: A Web-based survey assessed perceived importance of physical activity and livability issues to job responsibilities; perceived resident support of local government action to address physical activity and livability issues; and residence. City-level factors obtained from Census data included percentage of commuters by walking, bicycling, and public transit. The dependent variable was self-reported participation in developing, adopting, or implementing a local land use policy supportive of active living.

ANALYSIS: Hierarchical (two-level: municipal official-city) logistic regression model, using R.

RESULTS: Municipal officials living in the city where they worked were significantly more likely to be involved in a land use policy. Higher perceived importance of livability issues was associated with participation. Perceived importance of physical activity was inversely associated with land use policy involvement. Higher city-level bicycling rates resulted in increased odds of participation in a land use policy. City-level walking rates were inversely associated with land use policy participation.

CONCLUSION: Municipal officials who worked in cities with a higher proportion of bicycle commuters, who prioritized livability issues, and who resided in the city where they worked were more likely to engage in land use policies supportive of active living.

Decade-Long Trends in the Frequency of 90-Day Rehospitalizations After Hospital Discharge for Acute Myocardial Infarction

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:34pm

There are limited data available describing relatively contemporary trends in 90-day rehospitalizations in patients who survive hospitalization after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a community setting. We examined decade-long (2001 to 2011) trends in, and factors associated with, 90-day rehospitalizations in patients discharged from 3 central Massachusetts (MA) hospitals after AMI. Residents of the Worcester, MA, metropolitan area discharged after AMI from 3 central MA hospitals on a biennial basis from 2001 to 2011 comprised the study population (n = 4,810). The average age of this population was 69 years, 42% were women, and 92% were white. From 2001 to 2011, 30.0% of patients were rehospitalized within 90 days after hospital discharge, and 38% of 90-day rehospitalizations occurred after the first month after hospital discharge. Crude 90-day rehospitalization rates decreased from 31.5% in 2001/2003 to 27.3% in 2009/2011. After adjusting for several sociodemographic characteristics, co-morbidities, and in-hospital factors, there was a reduced risk of being rehospitalized within 90 days after hospital discharge in 2009/2011 compared with 2001/2003 (risk ratio = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.77 to 0.98); this trend was slightly attenuated (risk ratio = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.79 to 1.02) after further adjustment for hospital treatment practices. Female sex, having several previously diagnosed co-morbidities, an increased hospital stay, and the in-hospital development of atrial fibrillation, cardiogenic shock, and heart failure were significantly associated with an increased risk of being rehospitalized. In conclusion, the likelihood of subsequent 90-day rehospitalizations remained frequent, and we did not observe a significant decrease in these rates during the years under study.

Immunology. An RNA twist to T(H)17 cells

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:34pm

T helper lymphocytes play essential roles in the adaptive immune system. They come in distinct types defined by unique transcriptional programs that control their development and functions. Among these, T helper 17 (TH17) cells are important in protecting mucosal surfaces against fungal and bacterial infections. In addition, TH17 cells contribute to the pathogenesis of multiple autoimmune diseases (1). A recent study (2) adds yet another layer of complexity to the biology of these complex cells—an RNA helicase and a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) that act together to control their effector functions.

A Pilot Trial of Cisplatin/Etoposide/Radiotherapy Followed by Consolidation Docetaxel and the Combination of Bevacizumab (NSC-704865) in Patients With Inoperable Locally Advanced Stage III Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: SWOG S0533

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:32pm

BACKGROUND: The aim of this trial was to determine feasibility of incorporating bevacizumab (B) into concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with unresectable stage III NSCLC, performance status of 0 to 1, and adequate organ function were accrued in 2 strata, low- and high-risk (squamous histology, hemoptysis, tumor with cavitation and/or adjacent to a major vessel). Cohort 1 patients received cisplatin 50 mg/m(2) days (d) 1 and 8, etoposide 50 mg/m(2) (d 1-5) for 2 cycles concurrent with radiotherapy (64.8 Gy) followed by docetaxel (D) 75 mg/m(2) and B 15 mg/kg for 3 cycles. If safety was established, then accrual would continue to cohort 2 (B, d 15, 36, 57) and then subsequently to cohort 3 (B, d 1, 22, 43).

RESULTS: Twenty-nine patients (17 low- and 12 high-risk) registered to cohort 1. Twenty-six patients (including 4 squamous, 1 adenosquamous) were assessable. Twenty-five completed CRT. Grade 3/4 toxicities during CRT included acceptable rates of hematologic toxicity, esophagitis, and pneumonitis. Of 21 assessable for safety with D/B consolidation, major adverse events were pneumonitis (2 Grade 3) and 2 episodes of fatal hemoptysis in the high-risk group, resulting in closure of this stratum. The low-risk stratum subsequently closed because of slow accrual. Median overall survival was 46 months for low-risk and 17 months for high-risk strata.

CONCLUSION: Bevacizumab was not safely integrated into CRT for stage III NSCLC in patients considered at high risk for hemoptysis. In lower risk patients, data are insufficient to determine safety or efficacy.

Imaging and Data Acquisition in Clinical Trials for Radiation Therapy

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 3:32pm

Cancer treatment evolves through oncology clinical trials. Cancer trials are multimodal and complex. Assuring high-quality data are available to answer not only study objectives but also questions not anticipated at study initiation is the role of quality assurance. The National Cancer Institute reorganized its cancer clinical trials program in 2014. The National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) was formed and within it was established a Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Therapy Quality Assurance Organization. This organization is Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core, the Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core Group, consisting of 6 quality assurance centers that provide imaging and radiation therapy quality assurance for the NCTN. Sophisticated imaging is used for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and management as well as for image-driven technologies to plan and execute radiation treatment. Integration of imaging and radiation oncology data acquisition, review, management, and archive strategies are essential for trial compliance and future research. Lessons learned from previous trials are and provide evidence to support diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy data acquisition in NCTN trials.