Purpose: In Austria a national survey was conducted by Med AUSTRON / Osterreichische Gesellschaft fur Radio - Onkologie, Radiobiologie und Medizinische Radiophysik ( OGRO) in order to estimate the indications, patient numbers and radiotherapy treatment planning procedures and performances at all Austrian radiotherapy institutes. Results were correlated with incidence rates (Austrian cancer registry) to determine patterns of radiotherapy practice in Austria. Material and Methods: At 12 radiotherapy departments of Austria data of all patients receiving irradiation within a 3 months (2002/2003) period were assessed. On the basis of a questionnaire number of treated patients, indications, and parameters of disease (stage, histology) and treatment modalities were evaluated. Results were analysed with regard to different tumour groups, according to academic and non academic hospitals, and correlated with epidemiological data on cancer incidence. Results: In total, 3783 patients were registered within this period. According to the different tumour entities percentages of patients receiving radiotherapy within initial treatment varied from 3% to 90% (e.g. brain tumours: 77%, breast cancer: 90%, prostate cancer: 35%). The most frequent indications to radiotherapy per radiotherapy department were breast cancer (range 22%-35%; mean 26%), urological tumours (range 6%-27%; mean 12%) and bone metastases (mean 10%, range 3%-17%). Conclusion: In Austria breast cancer, urological tumours and bone metastases are representing the most common indications to radiotherapy. Among the different departments variations in indications to radiotherapy were observed. Our study is the first evaluation of radiotherapeutic management in Austria.
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