Radiotherapy for lung cancer deficient in Andalusia

Residents of the Andalusia province of Spain who were diagnosed with lung cancer and who require radiotherapy treatment may wish to move elsewhere.

Based on findings from a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, one-fourth may not be offered the treatment they need.

These discrepancies were identified in a systematic review of clinical and treatment records of all patients undergoing radiotherapy for lung cancer during 2007 at the 12 public hospitals with radiation treatment facilities in Andalusia (J Thorac Oncol., January 2013, Vol. 8:1, pp. 62-67).

In 2007, 610 out of 3,051 patients diagnosed with lung cancer received radiation treatments, with an overall treatment rate of 20%. Lead author Dr. Isabel Tovar of the radiation oncology department of Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital in Granada and co-authors reported that with an expected radiation therapy rate of 1,383 patients, 773 lung cancer patients should have been treated.

Data was grouped by patient demographics, histological type, tumor stage, type of hospital, and type of treatment. The authors estimated the underuse of radiotherapy treatment for lung cancer patients living in Andalusia in 2007 equated to the loss of an estimated 3,000 survival-days.

The investigational review was undertaken to assess the use of radiotherapy as an initial treatment for lung cancer in a southern region of Europe.

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