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Radiotherapy infrastructure and human resources in Europe - Present status and its implications for 2020


Datta, N; Samiei, M; Bodis, S (2014). Radiotherapy infrastructure and human resources in Europe - Present status and its implications for 2020. European Journal of Cancer, 50(15):2735-2743.

Abstract

Radiotherapy (RT) is required for nearly half of the newly diagnosed cancer patients. To optimise the quality and availability of RT, guidelines have been proposed by European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology-QUAntification of Radiation Therapy Infrastructure And Staffing Needs (ESTRO-QUARTS) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This study evaluates the present status of RT capacity in Europe and the projected needs by 2020 as per these recommendations. Thirty-nine of the 53 countries, listed in Europe by the UN Statistical Division, whose cancer incidences, teletherapy and human resources were available in the Global Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence (GLOBOCAN), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and DIrectory of RAdiotherapy Centres (DIRAC) (IAEA) databases were evaluated. A total of 3550 teletherapy units (TRT), 7017 radiation oncologists (RO), 3685 medical physicists (MP) and 12,788 radiotherapy technologists (RTT) are presently available for the 3.44 million new cancer cases reported annually in these countries. The present infrastructure and human resources in RT are estimated to provide RT access to 74.3% of the patients requiring RT. The current capacity in TRT, RO, MP and RTT when compared with recommended guidelines has a deficit of 25.6%, 18.3%, 22.7% and 10.6%, respectively. Thus, to respond to requirements by 2020, the existing capacity needs to be augmented by an additional 1698 TRTs, 2429 ROs, 1563 MPs and 2956 RTTs. With an imminent rise in cancer incidence, multifaceted strategic planning at national and international levels within a coordinated comprehensive cancer control programme is highly desirable to give adequate access to all patients who require radiotherapy across Europe. Specific steps to address this issue at national and continental levels involving all major stakeholders are proposed.

Abstract

Radiotherapy (RT) is required for nearly half of the newly diagnosed cancer patients. To optimise the quality and availability of RT, guidelines have been proposed by European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology-QUAntification of Radiation Therapy Infrastructure And Staffing Needs (ESTRO-QUARTS) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This study evaluates the present status of RT capacity in Europe and the projected needs by 2020 as per these recommendations. Thirty-nine of the 53 countries, listed in Europe by the UN Statistical Division, whose cancer incidences, teletherapy and human resources were available in the Global Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence (GLOBOCAN), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and DIrectory of RAdiotherapy Centres (DIRAC) (IAEA) databases were evaluated. A total of 3550 teletherapy units (TRT), 7017 radiation oncologists (RO), 3685 medical physicists (MP) and 12,788 radiotherapy technologists (RTT) are presently available for the 3.44 million new cancer cases reported annually in these countries. The present infrastructure and human resources in RT are estimated to provide RT access to 74.3% of the patients requiring RT. The current capacity in TRT, RO, MP and RTT when compared with recommended guidelines has a deficit of 25.6%, 18.3%, 22.7% and 10.6%, respectively. Thus, to respond to requirements by 2020, the existing capacity needs to be augmented by an additional 1698 TRTs, 2429 ROs, 1563 MPs and 2956 RTTs. With an imminent rise in cancer incidence, multifaceted strategic planning at national and international levels within a coordinated comprehensive cancer control programme is highly desirable to give adequate access to all patients who require radiotherapy across Europe. Specific steps to address this issue at national and continental levels involving all major stakeholders are proposed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Radiation Oncology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:October 2014
Deposited On:19 Feb 2015 14:40
Last Modified:26 Jan 2017 08:02
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0959-8049
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2014.06.012
PubMed ID:25085229

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