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Rad Oncology Homepage

Canon adds radiation oncology functioning to Aquilion CTs Can be shared between radiology and radiation oncology departments

Philips and MIM Software collab to streamline radiotherapy treatment planning Integrate portfolios of CT, MR and software solutions

ZAP Surgical launches radiosurgery platform for treating brain tumors Lowers cost of SRS with self-shielding technology

First Southeast Asian proton therapy center opens in India Will treat more than 3 million Indians with cancer, and other SE Asian populations

FDA clears MIM SurePlan molecular radiotherapy software Can measure the absorbed dose from MRT for individual patients

Addressing the radiation-related cancer risk of obese patients A complex problem and a call for better dose optimization

Mevion to install PT system at Mercy Hospital St. Louis Equipped with HYPERSCAN technology

GE and VUMC partner to make cancer immunotherapy safer and more precise Five-year collab will yield new AI apps and PET tracers

Proton therapy pioneer James M. Slater dies at 89 Oversaw creation of the world's first proton treatment center

UK and US researchers develop AI models for evaluating emotional burden of cancer More clearly assesses reduction in quality of life

A new report states that radiotherapy
is 'undervalued' and in need of 'greater
investment.'

European report says radiotherapy 'undervalued' and needing 'greater investment'

by John R. Fischer , Staff Reporter
Radiotherapy is “undervalued” and requires “greater investment.”

Those are the claims made in a new European report based on assessments around the use, access and availability of radiotherapy services to patients. Titled Radiotherapy: seizing the opportunity in cancer care, the white paper was published this month under a commission by the Marie Curie Legacy Campaign, an initiative of the European Society of Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) and the ESTRO Cancer Foundation.

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"Identifying the barriers contributing to the underuse of radiotherapy and variable access to resources can be complex," Michelle Leech, associate professor of radiation therapy at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, told HCB News. "A number of key themes we have identified across Europe include health system budget cuts; absence of investment in new equipment; a mistaken perception that radiation therapy is an expensive treatment; and a limited awareness of the importance of educating radiation oncology professionals. In addition, more than 40% of high-income countries do not address radiotherapy in their national cancer or noncommunicable disease plans, leading to it being left on the sidelines in national health agendas."

Cancer diagnoses are on the rise, with more than 4.2 million cases confirmed in Europe in 2018. Such outcomes have propelled growth projections around the demand for treatments, including a 16 percent hike expected by 2025 for radiotherapy, which cures 40 percent of all cancers either alone or in combination with other forms of treatment.

Its underuse and the lack of understanding around it are due to a number of factors, according to the report, including shortages of high-quality equipment, variations in training, insufficient integration of radiotherapy into treatment plans, lack of investment in research, lack of general understanding of it as a cancer treatment, and misconceptions about its safety.

The paper proposes a five-point plan to overcome these challenges that includes making radiotherapy a central component of cancer care in policies, planning and budgeting; raising recognition of all radiotherapy professions with education and training harmonized across Europe; investing in research and data use for continuous improvement of radiotherapy outcomes for patients with maximized potential for innovation; fully integrated treatment planning and decision-making; and improvement in awareness and understanding of radiotherapy for its full potential to be realized in patient care.
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