Strahlentherapie von gutartigen erkrankungen: Eine bestandsaufnahme fur Deutschland

Translated title of the contribution: Radiation therapy of benign diseases: Patterns of care study in Germany

M. Heinrich Seegenschmiedt*, Alexander Katalinic, Hans Bruno Makoski, Wulf Haase, Günther Gademann, Eckhard Hassenstein

*Corresponding author for this work
60 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Radiation therapy of benign diseases is controversially discussed and rarely applied in Anglo-American countries, while in other parts of the world, especially Central and East Europe, it is commonly practised for several benign disorders. Similar to the European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology survey, a patterns of care study was performed in Germany. Method: A questionnaire was mailed in 3 years (1994, 1995, 1996) to all radiation facilities in Germany, which assessed equipment, indications, number of patients and treatment concepts. A total of 134 (88%) institutions returned all requested data: 22 in East and 112 in West Germany; 30 in university and 104 in community/private hospitals. The average data of each institution and of all institutions were analyzed for frequencies and ratios between different regions and institutions. Results: A mean of 2 (range 1 to 7) megavoltage (Linac/Cobalt 60) and 1.4 (range 0 to 4) orthovoltage units were available per institution; 32 (24%) institutions had no orthovoltage equipment. A mean of 20,082 patients were treated per year: 456 (2%) for inflammatory diseases (221 hidradenitis, 78 nail bed infection, 23 parotitis, 134 not specified), 12,600 (63%) for degenerative diseases (2,711 peritendinitis humeroscapularis, 1,555 epicondylitis humeri, 1,382 heel spur, 2,434 degenerative osteoarthritis, 4,518 not specified), 927 (5%) for hypertrophic diseases (146 Dupuytren's contracture, 382 keloids, 155 Peyronie's disease, 244 not specified), 1,210 (6%) for functional disorders (853 Graves' orbitopathy, 357 not specified), and 4,889 (24%) for other disorders (e.g. 3,680 heterotopic ossification prophylaxis). In univariate analysis, there were significant geographical (West vs East Germany) differences in the use of radiotherapy for inflammatory and degenerative disorders and institutional differences (university vs community/private hospitals) in the use of radiotherapy for hypertrophic and functional disorders (p < 0.05). The prescribed dose concepts were mostly in the low dose range (< 10 Gy), but varied widely and inconsistently within geographic regions and institution types. Conclusion: Radiotherapy is a well accepted and frequently practised treatment for several benign diseases in Germany, however, there are significant geographical and institutional differences. As the number of orthovoltage units decreases, an increasing patient load is in demand of more megavoltage units, which may compromise the cost-effectiveness of this treatment. Only 4% of all clinical institutions are involved in controlled clinical trials. To maintain a high level of radiotherapy service to other disciplines, radiotherapy treatment guidelines, quality control and continuing medical education are required.

Translated title of the contributionRadiation therapy of benign diseases: Patterns of care study in Germany
Original languageGerman
JournalStrahlentherapie und Onkologie
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.1999


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