Use of image-guided radiotherapy on the rise in radiation oncology

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A recent study found that 23.2 million radiation therapy or related visits were made in the U.S. in 2006, according to an IMV Medical Information Division report. In the radiation therapy realm, the top cancer site types are breast (21 percent), prostate (20 percent) and lung cancer (12 percent).
“While the number of patients treated with radiation therapy every year is relatively stable, the technological sophistication of radiation oncology departments is continuing to advance. Digital imaging has become integrated into treatment planning to guide tumor treatment real-time,” said Lorna Young, senior director, market research. “While in 2004, 15 percent of the radiation oncology sites provided image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) in their department, over one-third of the sites do so now, using either a dedicated IGRT imaging device or electronic portal imaging. Ultrasound, x-ray and CT are the primary imaging modalities used in IGRT.”
Report highlights include:

  • Ninety percent of the radiation therapy sites use networks to share images;
  • Eighty percent of the simulators installed last year were CT;
  • Budgets are on the rise. In 2007 radiation therapy earmarks are expected to be 33 percent of capital budgets at most facilities with budgets higher than $1.5 million. Whereas in 2003 the percentage was 15 percent; and
  • Eighty-five percent of sites indicate that they have “record and verify/information management” systems.

For more information regarding IMV’s Radiation Oncology Census Database and Market Summary report visit: