Expanding global access to radiotherapy has both lifesaving and economic benefits

Over the past years, radiotherapy has become increasingly important and critical in cancer treatment and care. For many of the most common cancers in low-income and middle-income countries, radiotherapy is essential for effective treatment. In high-income countries, radiotherapy is already used in more than half of all cases of cancer. However, radiotherapy is still often the last resource to be considered in planning and building treatment capacity.


In a study published in the Lancet Oncology, the shortfall in access to radiotherapy by country and globally for 2015-35 based on current and projected needs was determined. The cost and the net benefit of scaling up radiotherapy across all low-income and middle-income countries was calculated using different models. Next to positive economic benefits, investment in radiotherapy is also lifesaving. Scaling up could lead to saving of 26.9 million life-years over the lifetime of patients who receive treatment.


Expanding global access to radiotherapy
Atun, Rifat et al.
The Lancet Oncology , Volume 16 , Issue 10 , 1153 – 1186