Background: In high-income countries, the number of radiotherapy machine per population reaches a sufficient level. However, the patterns of infrastructure of radiotherapy in high-income countries are not well known. Methods: Among 29 high-income countries with gross national income of $25,000 or more per capita, we selected 23 countries whose total number of newly diagnosed cancer patients in 2012 was reported in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Health Statistics 2017. The numbers of radiotherapy centers and teletherapy machines in each of these 23 countries were collected using the Dictionary of Radiotherapy Centers database. Results: The number of cancer patients per teletherapy machine was 452.35-1398.22 (median 711.66) with a three-fold variation, whereas the number of cancer patients per radiotherapy center varied even more widely, from 826.16 to 5159.86 (median 2259.83) with a six-fold variation. The average number of teletherapy machines per radiotherapy center also ranged widely, from 1.24 to 8.29 (median 3.11) with a seven-fold variation. The number of teletherapy machines in each country was almost proportional to that of cancer patients, and the number of teletherapy machines per radiotherapy center was inversely related to the number of radiotherapy centers per cancer patients. The number of teletherapy machines per radiotherapy center in Japan was 1.24, the most fragmented among the high-income countries. The percentage of large radiotherapy centers having three or more teletherapy machines in Japan was the smallest among 23 high-income countries. Conclusions: Optimization of the radiotherapy infrastructure in Japan should be carefully considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research