FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Owen JB , Coia LR , Hanks GE
Recent Patterns of Growth in Radiation-Therapy Facilities in the United-States - a Patterns of Care Study Report
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 1992 ;24(5) :983-986
PMID: ISI:A1992KA57000038   
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The Patterns of Care Study conducted its seventh survey of radiation oncology facilities with megavoltage equipment. The aims were to identify the basic structural characteristics of the radiation oncology specialty, to allow comparison with previous surveys, to identify trends in the patterns of equipment and personnel usage, and to measure the capabilities of facilities to deliver modern radiotherapy. All radiation oncology facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico were surveyed. Multiple mailings and calls yielded identification of and responses from virtually all facilities doing megavoltage radiotherapy. The survey collected information on equipment, patient load, personnel, and types of procedures performed. The complete census was reviewed, summarized, and compared to previous surveys. Results for 1990 showed 1321 facilities, (938 hospital based, 350 freestanding, 33 federal), 492120 new patients, and 2397 treatment machines (1893 linear accelerators or betatrons and 504 cobalt machines). The number of facilities and total machines increased rapidly with most of the increase in facilities occurring in the freestanding category. The number of cobalt units declined, while the number of linear accelerators increased. The results also showed that 6% of facilities did not have the capability of simulating patients and 7% of facilities did not have treatment planning capability. Of all facilities 9% reported doing intraoperative radiation therapy and 18% doing hyperthermia. For recent years in the specialty of radiation oncology the number of facilities and treatment machines increased at a more rapid rate than the number of new patients.