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Brachytherapy. 2008 Jul-Sep;7(3):223-30. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Patterns of care for brachytherapy in Europe: facilities and resources in brachytherapy in the European area.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Catalan Institute of Oncology, L'Hospitalet del Llobregat, Gran vía s/n Km. 2.7, Barcelona, Spain.



The objective of the survey was to obtain detailed information on the use of brachytherapy through a web-based questionnaire. The present article describes the resources available in 2002.


The European area was divided into three groups: Group I included the 15 original member countries of the European Union plus 4 others according to economic wealth; Group II included the 10 most recent members of the European Union; and Group III included 14 other European countries. A national coordinator was designated for each country with a general coordinator to oversee the project to encourage the participation of every radiotherapy center.


Three hundred forty-eight (47.2%) of the responding centers provided brachytherapy services and, compared to data from 1997, most showed a significant increase in the mean number of brachytherapy patients per center. The average number of radiation oncologists involved in brachytherapy was similar in the three groups. The average workload estimated in hours per week at the cancer centers was, however, higher in Groups II and III. Most centers had at least one treatment planning system, although in Group I 7.7% of the centers had three or more treatment planning systems.


Notable differences in brachytherapy treatment were observed, especially in the workload of radiation oncologists and physicists in Groups II and III, the two groups with largest number of patients. New surveys can provide a detailed analysis of changes over time, a potentially useful tool to eliminate the differences observed.

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