open access

Vol 20, No 2 (2015)
Original research articles
Published online: 2015-03-01
Submitted: 2014-06-05
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Decentralisation of radiation therapy. Is it possible and beneficial to patients? Experience of the first 5 years of a satellite radiotherapy unit in the province of Tarragona, Spain

Meritxell Arenas, David Gomez, Sebastià Sabater, Angeles Rovirosa, Albert Biete, Jordi Colomer
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2014.10.008
·
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2015;20(2):141-144.

open access

Vol 20, No 2 (2015)
Original research articles
Published online: 2015-03-01
Submitted: 2014-06-05

Abstract

Background

The concept of satellite radiotherapy originates in countries whose populations are largely dispersed in order to treat homogenously the population by a unique fixed team.

Aim

This report describes the creation and management of a satellite radiotherapy unit in Spain (RUTE-Radiotherapy Unit, Terres de l’Ebre). It is managed by the Radiation Oncology Department at Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Reus. We report the benefit gained in the comfort of patients and the economic benefit gained by reducing the expense of transport for the health care system.

Materials and methods

RUTE is equipped with a linear accelerator. A team of 10 physicians, specialised in different oncology pathologies, travel to RUTE on a rotational basis from the main Radiation Oncology Department. Simulation and planning of treatment is managed at the Radiation Oncology Department in Reus. Patients from RUTE only have to visit the centre in Reus once throughout the treatment process.

Results

Since August 2008, 1500 patients have completed treatment in the satellite unit. The implementation of RUTE has greatly improved the comfort of patients and along with that, there have been important savings in transport costs to the regional health care system.

Conclusions

Despite the high technological requirements of our speciality, decentralising radiotherapy is feasible. We can guarantee the highest standards of treatment with no differences from attending the main centre. It implies a clear benefit for the comfort of the patients and an economic benefit by decreasing transport costs.

Abstract

Background

The concept of satellite radiotherapy originates in countries whose populations are largely dispersed in order to treat homogenously the population by a unique fixed team.

Aim

This report describes the creation and management of a satellite radiotherapy unit in Spain (RUTE-Radiotherapy Unit, Terres de l’Ebre). It is managed by the Radiation Oncology Department at Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Reus. We report the benefit gained in the comfort of patients and the economic benefit gained by reducing the expense of transport for the health care system.

Materials and methods

RUTE is equipped with a linear accelerator. A team of 10 physicians, specialised in different oncology pathologies, travel to RUTE on a rotational basis from the main Radiation Oncology Department. Simulation and planning of treatment is managed at the Radiation Oncology Department in Reus. Patients from RUTE only have to visit the centre in Reus once throughout the treatment process.

Results

Since August 2008, 1500 patients have completed treatment in the satellite unit. The implementation of RUTE has greatly improved the comfort of patients and along with that, there have been important savings in transport costs to the regional health care system.

Conclusions

Despite the high technological requirements of our speciality, decentralising radiotherapy is feasible. We can guarantee the highest standards of treatment with no differences from attending the main centre. It implies a clear benefit for the comfort of the patients and an economic benefit by decreasing transport costs.

Get Citation

Keywords

Decentralisation radiation therapy; Satellite unit; Health care system

About this article
Title

Decentralisation of radiation therapy. Is it possible and beneficial to patients? Experience of the first 5 years of a satellite radiotherapy unit in the province of Tarragona, Spain

Journal

Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy

Issue

Vol 20, No 2 (2015)

Pages

141-144

Published online

2015-03-01

DOI

10.1016/j.rpor.2014.10.008

Bibliographic record

Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2015;20(2):141-144.

Keywords

Decentralisation radiation therapy
Satellite unit
Health care system

Authors

Meritxell Arenas
David Gomez
Sebastià Sabater
Angeles Rovirosa
Albert Biete
Jordi Colomer

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