Radiotherapy is used for cure or palliation in around half of patients with cancer. We analysed data on radiotherapy equipment in 33 European countries registered in the Directory of Radiotherapy Centres (DIRAC) database, managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency. As of July, 2012, Europe had 1286 active radiotherapy centres. The average number of teletherapy machines per radiotherapy centre ranged from 1·2 to 7·0 in different countries. Nordic countries, the UK, the Netherlands, and Slovenia all have large centres with four to ten teletherapy machines. Most western and southern European countries have several small centres with one or two machines, with few larger centres. The fragmentation in radiotherapy services that prevails in many European countries might affect the economic burden of radiotherapy and its quality. Eastern and southeastern European countries need to expand and modernise their radiotherapy equipment.
- databases, factual