Infrastructure of radiotherapy in the Netherlands: evaluation of prognoses and introduction of a new model for determining the needs.
SourceRadiotherapy and Oncology, 66, 3, (2003), pp. 345-9
Article / Letter to editor
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Radiotherapy and Oncology
SubjectUMCN 1.5: Interventional oncology
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In the Netherlands, the radiotherapy infrastructure is regulated by a Governmental license system. This requires timely and realistic prognostication of the needs for radiotherapy. In the present study, the latest prognoses (1993) and the realized changes in infrastructure are evaluated and a new prognosis for the period until 2010, which has been calculated using a new model, is presented. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data on cancer incidence and use of radiotherapy were obtained from various published national reports and from a survey of all radiotherapy departments. RESULTS: The cancer incidence over the period 1993-1997 was about 10% higher than predicted. In 1996 and 1997, the percentage of new cancer patients treated with radiotherapy was 45.6 and 48.2%, respectively. The absolute number of newly irradiated patients was about 10% higher than foreseen in the prognosis. The needs for radiotherapy infrastructure not only depend on epidemiological data and changes in indications for radiotherapy, but also on changes in types of treatment with different workloads. A new model, which uses four categories for teletherapy and four categories for brachytherapy is described and a new prognosis for the required number of linear accelerators and staff up to the year 2010 is presented. CONCLUSION: The original prognosis on cancer incidence and radiotherapy patients underestimated the actual figures considerably. The new prognosis, based on a model, which not only accounts for an increase in number of patients, but also for changes in treatment techniques, is expected to more accurately predict and acquire the required radiotherapy capacity.
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