Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Increased investment in radiotherapy will improve cure rates for European cancer patients


The scenarios where radiotherapy can be used for curative (and palliative) treatment of cancer have steadily increased, and radiotherapy now forms a part of the treatment of more than 50% of all cancer patients. However, in many countries, treatment capacity is exceeded and access to treatment is a major problem. This was the conclusion of three leading European radiation oncologists who were jointly presenting their findings at the 23rd Meeting of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology here today (Tuesday 26th October).

According to Prof Michael Baumann (UK Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany), Prof Ann Barrett (University of East Anglia School of Medicine, Norwich, UK), Dr Ole Nielsen (Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark) and Dr Søren Bentzen (Gray Cancer Institute, Northwood, UK) there is a wealth of experimental and clinical data which indicates that cure rates decrease with increasing waiting time for radiotherapy. “Increasing demand without increasing the resources to match, results in patients’ welfare being jeopardised”, explained Prof Baumann. “Increased waiting times can result in tumours growing beyond a ’curative size’ or in tumours metastasising. For tumours to grow beyond a curable size takes weeks or even months”, emphasised Prof Baumann. “But in some countries waiting times of this length are not uncommon and urgent action needs to be taken if all patients are to have equal access to optimal care”.

In very few EU countries do the number of linear accelerators (machines used to deliver radiotherapy) match the number known to be required to adequately provide treatment. In those few countries with national guidelines to govern the numbers of linear accelerators per head of population, none have achieved the target set out in the guidelines.

Prof Baumann cited the example of the U.K and the Netherlands where calls for increased investment in radiotherapy (provision of equipment and training of staff) had resulted in substantial improvements. “Recent figures show improved cure rates across a range of cancers in the UK which is, in part, due to improved availability and access to treatment”. “Overall though, in many countries of the European Union a high proportion of patients requiring radiotherapy receive their treatment not within what oncologists would agree is an acceptable time,” explained Prof Baumann. “This under-use of radiotherapy reflects the lack of availability of linear accelerators and trained staff to operate them”.

“On behalf of the 6,000 European radiation oncologists that ESTRO represents, we would urge European health ministries to move quickly to allocate sufficient resources to make sure that all patients eligible for radiotherapy are treated in a timely manner, according to accepted guidelines”, said Prof Baumann. “Radiotherapy is a cost-effective and proven treatment for cancer that can cure and reduce suffering in hundreds of thousands of patients in Europe each year. It is critical that funds are allocated to ensure that patients receive the best care possible and the best opportunity of surviving their disease”.

Stuart Bell | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>