The International Accreditation System for Interventional Oncology Services (IASIOS) has passed its pilot phase with flying colours, the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) has announced in a press release, and is now open for public enrolment. Twelve pioneering hospitals from nine countries successfully participated in the IASIOS pilot phase. This robust accrediting system, tested and optimised over the past two years, now stands ready to accept applications from facilities offering interventional oncology (IO) services worldwide, regardless of the institution’s size or location.
IASIOS is the world’s only accreditation scheme focussed exclusively on minimally-invasive treatments for cancer. Its main goal is to establish the highest quality standards in IO care throughout the entire service line and patient pathway.
Cancer patients can benefit greatly from IO treatments whose minimally invasive nature is proven to provide numerous advantages, such as less pain, fewer complications, and shorter recovery times than conventional surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Furthermore, many IO procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, increasing efficiency, reducing costs and waiting times, and allowing earlier resumption of normal life. This is especially important in these challenging times, as the pandemic has resulted in backlogs in cancer care which IO could help to substantially reduce.
With the continued growth and recognition of IO as an important clinical discipline and the fourth pillar of cancer care, facilities providing IO therapies must follow appropriate guidelines if the relevant treatments are to be used safely and appropriately. It is likewise essential for patient safety and satisfaction that interventional oncologists have the ability and means to officially prove their value and expertise to patients and hospital administrators, not merely as technicians, but rather as primary clinical healthcare providers. In order to achieve exactly that, the Standards of Quality Assurance in Interventional Oncology, published by CIRSE, were used as a blueprint and set the foundation for developing an accreditation system that will be instrumental in the standardisation of IO services on a global scale.
Chair of the IASIOS supervisory board, Andreas ‘Andy’ Adam (Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK), provides insight into this global launch, commenting: “IASIOS is the culmination of years of dedicated work by CIRSE. It is exciting to reach this stage, as this pioneering accreditation scheme will help improve cancer care around the world.”
Adam told Interventional News last year that as IASIOS focuses on the entire patient pathway, it is a way of recognising that interventional oncologists are “clinicians, not just technicians”. Speaking in April 2020, he said that the project “will help establish IO as a mainstream clinical discipline, so is very important to IO as a whole”.
Centres that enrol in the IASIOS system become part of a greater worldwide community of top IO centres working together to further develop and promote the practice of IO and raise awareness of the benefits of this discipline amongst both patients and medical providers.