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Medical News & Perspectives
February 4, 1998

New Study Suggests Radiation Often Underused for Palliation

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JAMA. 1998;279(5):343-344. doi:10.1001/jama.279.5.343

HAILED AS the first of its kind, a Swedish study suggests that radiation therapy is underutilized for improving the quality of life for patients with incurable cancer.

Involving both a critical analysis of the scientific literature on radiation oncology and a comprehensive survey of current medical practice in Sweden, the study may serve as a model for basing national health policies on evidence-based medicine throughout the world, said Seymour Levitt, MD, professor and head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Levitt, who is chair of the Radiological Society of North America board of directors, moderated a session at the society's 83rd Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill, which looked at the methods and outcomes of this study (Acta Oncologica. 1996;35:1-100 and 1996;35:1-152).