Patterns of the use of advanced radiation therapy techniques for the management of bone metastases and the associated factors in Victoria

Tamara Fogarty, Mark Tacey, Giulia McCorkell, David Kok, Colin Hornby, Roger L. Milne, Jeremy Millar, Farshad Foroudi, Wee Loon Ong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: To describe the pattern of the use of advanced radiation therapy (RT) techniques, including intensity-modulated RT (IMRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), and stereotactic body RT (SBRT) for the management of bone metastases (BM), and the associated factors in Victoria. Methods: We used a population-based cohort of patients from the state-wide Victorian Radiotherapy Minimum Data Set (VRMDS) who received RT for BM between 2012 and 2017. The primary outcome was proportion of RT courses using advanced RT techniques. The Cochran-Armitage test for trend was used to evaluate temporal trend in advanced RT use. Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with advanced RT use. Results: A total of 18,158 courses of RT were delivered to 10,956 patients–16,626 (91.6%) courses were 3D conformal RT, 857 (4.7%) IMRT/VMAT and 675 (3.7%) SBRT. There was a sharp increase in IMRT/VMAT use from <1% in 2012–2015, to 10.1% in 2016 and 16.3% in 2017 (P-trend < 0.001). Increase in SBRT use was more gradual, from 1.2% in 2012 to 4.8% in 2016 and 5.5% in 2017 for SBRT (P-trend<0.001). In multivariate analyses, year of RT was the strongest predictor of IMRT/VMAT use (OR = 41; 95%CI = 25–67; P < 0.001, comparing 2012–2013 and 2016–2017). Primary tumour type (prostate cancer) was the strongest predictor of SBRT use (OR = 6.07; 95% CI = 4.19–8.80; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Overall, there was increasing trend in the use of advanced RT techniques for BM in Victoria, with a distinct pattern for IMRT/VMAT compared with SBRT – SBRT uptake was more gradual while IMRT/VMAT uptake was abrupt, occurring contemporaneously with Medicare Benefit Scheme funding changes in 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-687
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • bone metastases
  • IMRT
  • radiation therapy
  • stereotactic
  • VMAT

Cite this