Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control
In 2013, the Board of the Union for International Cancer Control convened the Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control (GTFRCC) to address the challenge of closing the global inequity gap in access to radiotherapy. The GTFRCC brought together over 100 experts, including radiotherapy professionals, industry partners, cancer control organisations, and economists to clarify the challenge and quantify the investment needed to provide equity in global access to radiation therapy. Further to that, by determining the global burden of cancer amenable to radiation therapy and the cost to build the infrastructure and train professionals to deliver the treatment, the GTFRCC demonstrated the economic gains as a result of an investment in radiation therapy
Invited by the Lancet Oncology to be a commission of the Lancet, the GTFRCC published their results in a standalone edition of the journal in September 2015. The release of the findings helped dispel misconceptions about radiotherapy being too costly to deliver. It brought global attention to the severity of the radiotherapy inequity problem, demonstrated a positive return on investment for radiotherapy, and articulated the need to act immediately to remedy the crisis [Atun et al. 2015].
The report along with the WHO’s Global NCD Action Plan to reduce premature mortality from NCDs by 25% and to increase the availability of technologies used to manage NCDs by 80%, has positioned radiotherapy as a priority for investment. It is now time to act and to respond to the Commission’s five calls-to-action.
GTFRCC ACTION ITEMS:
- Incorporate radiotherapy into population-based cancer control plans in 80% of countries by 2020
- Increase by 25% the 2015 radiotherapy treatment capacity by the year 2025
- Train 7,500 radiation oncologists; 20,000 radiation technologists; and 6,000 medical physicists in LMICs by 2025
- Invest $46 billion by 2025 to establish radiotherapy infrastructure and training in LMICs
- Include radiotherapy services as part of the healthcare plans for universal health coverage in 80% of LMICs by 2020