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Cancer treatment—radiotherapy treatment type, code N[N]

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termRadiotherapy treatment type
Synonymous names:Help on this termRadiotherapy treatment modality
METeOR identifier:Help on this term561521
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 08/05/2014
Definition:Help on this termThe type of radiotherapy administered during the course of treatment for cancer, as represented by a code.
Data Element Concept:Cancer treatment—radiotherapy treatment type

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN[N]
Maximum character length:Help on this term2
Permissible values:Help on this term
ValueMeaning
1External beam radiotherapy only
2Brachytherapy only
3Unsealed radioisotopes only
4External beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy
5External beam radiotherapy and unsealed radioisotopes
6Brachytherapy and unsealed radioisotopes
7External beam radiotherapy, brachytherapy and unsealed radioisotopes
Supplementary values:Help on this term
97Not applicable-radiotherapy was not administered
98Unknown whether radiotherapy was administered
99Radiotherapy was administered but the treatment type not stated/inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

More than one radiotherapy treatment type may be delivered during the course of treatment; select the appropriate code value.

The difference between the types of radiotherapy relates to the position of the radiation source:

  • External beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is delivered by directing the radiation at the tumour from outside the body
  • Brachytherapy or sealed source radiotherapy is delivered by placing the radiation source in close proximity to the tumour site
  • Unsealed radioisotopes or systemic radioisotope therapy is delivered by infusion into the bloodstream or by ingestion and is a form of targeted therapy.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termCancer Australia
Reference documents:Help on this termDeVita VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA 2005. Cancer: Principles and practice of oncology, 7th edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

External beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is delivered by directing the radiation at the tumour from outside the body. Types of external beam radiotherapy include conventional EBRT, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT).

Brachytherapy is delivered by placing the radiation source in close proximity to the tumour site. The radioactive isotopes are sealed in tiny pellets or “seeds” which are placed in the body using delivery devices such as needles or catheters. Types include interstitial brachytherapy, which uses a source placed within tumour tissue, for example, within a prostate tumour; and intracavitary brachytherapy, whereby the source is placed within a surgical cavity or a body cavity. Brachytherapy can involve the temporary or permanent placement of radioactive sources.

Unsealed radioisotopes or systemic radioisotope therapy is delivered by infusion into the bloodstream or by ingestion and is a form of targeted therapy. Targeting can be due to the chemical properties of the isotope, for example, radioiodine is specifically absorbed by the thyroid gland. It can also be achieved by attaching the radioisotope to another molecule or antibody to guide it to the target tissue. Examples of treatment with unsealed radioisotopes include the infusion of metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) to treat neuroblastoma and of oral iodine-131 to treat thyroid cancer.

Radiotherapy treatment type is collected for all courses of radiotherapy delivered to the patient during the course of treatment.

The radiotherapy treatment type is recorded regardless of whether the course of treatment is completed as intended, and regardless of the intent or timing of treatment.

More than one radiotherapy treatment type may be administered during the course of treatment; select the appropriate code value.

If external beam radiotherapy and/or brachytherapy were administered, the radiation dose received and number of fractions should also be collected as well as the start and finish dates of the radiotherapy.

Most external beam radiotherapy is delivered on an outpatient basis.

Brachytherapy is likely to be delivered to admitted patients.
Collection methods:Help on this term

The radiotherapy treatment modality will typically be found in the radiation oncologist's summary letter for the course of treatment or in the radiotherapy treatment summary in the patient's medical record.

Determining the treatment modality may require assistance from the radiation oncologist for consistent coding.
Comments:Help on this termTo evaluate patterns of radiotherapy care and analyse patient outcomes, it is necessary to know which treatment modalities were employed in the delivery of treatment.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termCancer Australia
Origin:Help on this term

Commission on Cancer, American College of Surgeons

New South Wales Health Department

Reference documents:Help on this term

American College of Surgeons 2002. Facility Oncology Registry Data Standards (FORDS), 2009 revision. Commission on Cancer

American College of Surgeons 1998. Standards of the Commission on Cancer: Registry Operations and Data Standards (ROADS), Volume II. Commission on Cancer

Cancer Institute NSW 2006. NSW Clinical Cancer Registration: Minimum Data Set Data Dictionary, version 1.9 draft

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Cancer treatment—external beam radiotherapy type, code N[N] Health, Standard 04/02/2015

See also Cancer treatment—radiation dose administered, total Gray N[NN.NN] Health, Standard 08/05/2014

See also Cancer treatment—radiotherapy completion date, DDMMYYYY Health, Standard 08/05/2014

See also Cancer treatment—radiotherapy fractions administered, total fractions N[N] Health, Standard 08/05/2014

See also Cancer treatment—radiotherapy start date, DDMMYYYY Health, Standard 08/05/2014, ACT Health, Final 08/08/2018

See also Cancer treatment—radiotherapy target site, code N[N] Health, Standard 08/05/2014

Supersedes Cancer treatment—radiotherapy treatment type, code N[N] Health, Superseded 08/05/2014

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

Radiotherapy for cancer cluster Health, Standard 08/05/2014

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