The Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU) systematic overview of radiotherapy for cancer including a prospective survey of radiotherapy practice in Sweden 2001--summary and conclusions

Acta Oncol. 2003;42(5-6):357-65. doi: 10.1080/02841860310010826.


A systematic assessment of radiotherapy for cancer was conducted by The Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU) and published in 1996. The assessment reviewed the scientific literature up to 1993 on the use of radiotherapy in the treatment of solid tumours, and estimated the costs associated with radiotherapy. It also described the current practise of radiotherapy in Sweden 1992 and compared practise with scientific knowledge. The SBU has now conducted a follow-up study on radiotherapy for cancer, including a review of the scientific literature from 1994 and a prospective survey of radiotherapy practise in Sweden 2001. The following conclusions were drawn: The role of radiotherapy as an important form of treatment for cancer with both curative and palliative intent has been further confirmed. The use of radiotherapy in Sweden has increased and is now at the internationally recommended level. Radiotherapy in Sweden is mostly given in accordance with the scientific evidence but may still be underutilized in certain situations. The resources for radiotherapy are being utilized more efficiently. The costs of radiotherapy are still 5% of the total cost of cancer care, while the cost of an individual treatment (fraction) has decreased. The need for radiotherapy capacity will increase. In addition, half of the treatment equipment will have to be replaced in the next few years.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiotherapy / economics*
  • Radiotherapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiotherapy / trends
  • Societies, Medical
  • Sweden
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical*