Radiation Oncology in the Arab World

  • Layth Mula-HussainEmail author
  • Shada Jamal Wadi-Ramahi
  • Mohamed Saad Zaghloul
  • Muthana Al-Ghazi
Living reference work entry


Radiation oncology is a discipline of clinical medicine that uses ionizing radiation for the treatment of patients with malignant diseases, cancers (mostly), or some nonmalignant diseases (on occasion). It is an area of medicine where radiation oncologists are unable to deliver their therapeutic measures without the input from medical physicists, radiation therapists, and other members of the radiotherapy team. Tools needed in radiation oncology were first launched in Europe in 1895 and then entered the Arab World in the 1920s. This chapter reviews the status of radiation oncology in the 22 Arab League Countries where over 400 million of people live and where there were over 400,000 new cases of cancer in 2018. The available data are not always reliable. In spite of some excellent achievements in some aspects, the facilities available are often suboptimal in many of these countries, where it is ideally estimated that one treatment machine supposed to be available for about every 500 new cancer patients. There are variations in access to care of the population in these countries, with an average of less than 40% from the ideal required coverage of radiotherapy machines based on internationally recommended standards. Similarly, there is a shortage of optimally qualified and trained personnel. The situation requires urgent attention from all stakeholders in cancer patient care and patient rights.


Cancer Radiation oncology Arab League Countries 



American Board of Radiology


Arab States in Asia


Arab League Countries


American SocieTy for Radiation Oncology


Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine


Clinically Qualified Medical Physicists


Computed Tomography


Directory of RAdiotherapy Centres


External Beam Radiation Therapy


Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission


European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology


Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control


Gross Tumor Volume






High Dose Rate


High-Income Countries


International Atomic Energy Agency


International Agency for Research on Cancer


International Medical Physics Certification Board


International Organization for Medical Physics


Junior Arab Medical Association Against Cancer




Low Dose Rate


Low-Income Countries


LINear ACcelerator


Low-Middle-Income Countries


Medium Dose Rate


Mega-electron Volt


Medical Physicist


Magnetic Resonant Imaging




Mega-Voltage Machines


National Comprehensive Cancer Network


Pulsed Dose Rate


QUAntification of Radiation Therapy infrastructure and Staffing needs


Radiation Oncologist




Radiation Therapy Technologist


Treatment Planning System


Upper-Middle-Income Countries


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Layth Mula-Hussain
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shada Jamal Wadi-Ramahi
    • 2
  • Mohamed Saad Zaghloul
    • 3
  • Muthana Al-Ghazi
    • 4
  1. 1.Radiation OncologyCross Cancer Institute – University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research CenterRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Radiation OncologyChildren’s Cancer Hospital & National Cancer Institute – Cairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  4. 4.Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center – University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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