PURPOSE: The limited radiotherapy resources for global cancer control have resulted in increased interest in developing time- and cost-saving innovations to expand access to those resources. Hypofractionated regimens could minimize cost and increase access for limited-resource countries. In this investigation, we estimated the percentage cost-savings per radiotherapy course and increased radiotherapy access in African countries after adopting hypofractionation for breast and prostate radiotherapy. For perspective, results were compared with high-income countries. METHODS: The cost and course of breast and prostate radiotherapy for conventional and hypofractionated regimens in low-resource facilities were calculated using the Radiotherapy Cost Estimator tool developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and then compared with another activity-based costing model. The potential maximum cost savings in each country over 7 years for breast and prostate radiotherapy were then estimated using cancer incidence data from the Global Cancer Observatory database with use rates applied. The increase in radiotherapy access was estimated by current national capacities from the IAEA directory. RESULTS: The estimated cost per course of conventional and hypofractionated regimens were US$2,232 and $1,339 for breast treatment, and $3,389 and $1,699 for prostate treatment, respectively. The projected potential maximum cost savings with full hypofractionation implementation were $1.1 billion and $606 million for breast and prostate treatment, respectively. The projected increase of radiotherapy access due to implementing hypofractionation varied between +0.3% to 25% and +0.4% to 36.0% for breast and prostate treatments, respectively. CONCLUSION: This investigation demonstrates that adopting hypofractionated regimens as standard treatment of breast and prostate cancers can result in substantial savings and increase radiotherapy access in developing countries. Given reduced delivery cost and treatment times, we anticipate a substantial increase in radiotherapy access with additional innovations that will allow progressive hypofractionation without compromising quality.

doi.org/10.1200/JGO.19.00261, hdl.handle.net/1765/127755
JCO global oncology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Irabor, O.C. (Omoruyi Credit), Swanson, W. (William), Shaukat, F. (Fiza), Wirtz, J. (Johanna), Mallum, A.A. (Abba Aji), Ngoma, T, … Ngwa, W. (Wilfred). (2020). Can the Adoption of Hypofractionation Guidelines Expand Global Radiotherapy Access? An Analysis for Breast and Prostate Radiotherapy. JCO global oncology, 6, 667–678. doi:10.1200/JGO.19.00261