Current radiosurgery practice: results of an ASTRO survey. Task Force on Stereotactic Radiosurgery, American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

ArticleinInternational Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics 28(2):523-6 · January 1994with6 Reads
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    Although there is increasing interest in radiosurgery, little quantitative data regarding current patterns of radiosurgery practice are available. We developed a radiosurgery questionnaire to obtain information on radiosurgery practice.
    We distributed the questionnaire to the entire membership of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in early 1993. Responses were obtained from 74 facilities that practice radiosurgery, corresponding to over 6000 treatments carried out since 1983 by 135 radiation oncologists and 130 physicists.
    Most respondents were found to work within a multidisciplinary team, consisting of the following specialists (average hours devoted per patient on day of treatment in parentheses): radiation oncologist (3.8), neurosurgeon (3.2), physicist (6.1), radiologist (0.7), nurse (2.7), other (3.0). On average, neurosurgeons and nurses who perform Gamma Knife radiosurgery devote significantly more time-per-patient on the day of treatment than their peers who perform linac radiosurgery. On average, less experienced radiation oncologists and physicists (< or = 24 months experience, or < or = 50 patients treated) devote significantly more time-per-patient on the day of treatment than their more experienced peers. Although there are many more linac radiosurgery facilities than Gamma Knife facilities, on average the number of patients treated per month per facility is significantly larger at the latter. On average, follow-up responsibilities are nearly equally shared by radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons, except at Gamma Knife facilities, where neurosurgeons assume a larger percentage of follow-up responsibility. The percentages of patients treated at linac facilities for metastases or primary CNS malignancy are larger than the corresponding percentages at Gamma Knife facilities; the opposite is true for arteriovenous malformation, acoustic neuroma, and meningioma.
    Current radiosurgery practice usually involves a team approach, with participation of specialists from radiation oncology, neurosurgery, physics, radiology, and nursing. The average number of M.D. and Ph.D. hours required per treatment on the day of radiosurgery is high.