Patient Care and Research

Collaborative Guideline Development 

ASTRO welcomes opportunities to collaborate on documents with other societies whose constituencies have a vested interest in a topic. This serves to minimize duplication of effort, conserve resources, and harmonize recommendations across organizations to provide consistent quality medical care. ASTRO may invite organizations to be a full partner, which provides representation on the panel, inclusion of official peer reviewers, and the opportunity to approve the final document. In other cases, ASTRO may ask a society to collaborate by nominating a representative and official peer reviewers and then receiving the final document for endorsement consideration.

ASTRO’s guideline development process includes three key phases (see ASTRO's Guideline Development Process page for detailed information) with some flexibility depending on the lead society:
 
  • Planning & Initiation - Establishes the formal arrangement between collaborating societies, selection of the volunteer(s) who will serve on the task force, and drafting of key research questions.
  • Development - Includes the literature review, evidence evaluation, and formation of the initial guideline draft. The draft is then sent through formal peer review and comment resolution. The review process can vary based on the lead society.
  • Approval & Publication - Finalized through leadership and Board approval (which can take up to three months), followed by publication in the journal of the lead society. The guideline is then updated or re-affirmed within 5 years of publication to recognize new evidence or changes in practice.
The following policies apply when ASTRO is invited to be a partner or collaborator on another societies' guideline:
 
  • ASTRO must be satisfied with the societies conflict of interest (COI) policy and management process and ASTRO representatives must comply with ASTRO's COI policy. 
  • Partner or co-sponsor - The joint guideline is considered ASTRO organizational policy if involved in scope development, has multiple representatives on the panel, provides peer review, and receives approval from the Board of Directors. ASTRO may choose to publish a summary of the guideline and/or an editorial with a short summary of the key messages and reference the published full-text guideline.
  • Collaboration - ASTRO's Board of Directors may endorse the guideline, but it is not considered organizational policy. ASTRO must have at least one representative on the panel, participate in peer review, and consider the final guideline for endorsement. ASTRO may choose to publish an editorial with a short summary of the key messages and reference the published full-text guideline.
See ASTRO's framework for developing guidelines with other organizations for the comprehensive details on the policies and terms associated with joint partnership, collaboration, and endorsement. ASTRO may also consider endorsement of other organizations' guidelines without collaboration (see Endorsement Consideration page for details).

For questions, please contact guideline staff
 

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