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Keywords:

  • bladder cancer;
  • genitourinary cancer;
  • renal cancer;
  • prostate cancer;
  • testicular cancer;
  • radiotherapy utilization

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Benchmark radiotherapy utilization rates for genitourinary malignancies are largely unknown, despite the finding that genitourinary cancers comprise approximately 19% of all registered malignancies in Australia.

METHODS

To develop an evidence-based benchmark of the optimal proportion of patients with genitourinary malignancies who should receive at least one course of radiotherapy at some time during their illness, the authors studied treatment guidelines and treatment reviews regarding genitourinary malignancies. Optimal radiotherapy utilization trees were constructed to show the clinical attributes that indicated possible benefit from radiotherapy based on evidence. Epidemiologic incidence data for each of these clinical attributes were obtained to calculate the optimal proportion of all patients with genitourinary cancer for whom radiotherapy was considered appropriate.

RESULTS

The proportion of patients with genitourinary malignancies for whom radiotherapy was indicated at some point in their illness, according to the best available evidence, was estimated to be 27% of patients with renal cancer, 58% of patients with bladder cancer, 60% of patients with prostate cancer, and 49% of patients with testicular cancer. The occurrence of ureteric and penile cancers among patients was too rare, and, therefore, these patients were not included in the current study.

CONCLUSIONS

There was a large discrepancy between actual radiotherapy utilization and the evidence-based optimal rate. The authors recommended strategies to implement the evidence-based guidelines. Evidence-based benchmarks for radiotherapy utilization rates such as the ones described in the current study were important in the evaluation of the appropriate use of radiotherapy. Cancer 2005. © 2004 American Cancer Society.