The Pipeline

Proton therapy: A cost effective option?


Caitlin Visek, Technology Insights

Results from a recent study suggest that proton therapy—widely regarded as a progressive but financially prohibitive form of radiation therapy—may actually be cost-effective when accounting for the cost of late adverse events. 

Dr. Raymond Vega of Mount Auburn Hospital presented these results at an ASTRO news briefing on Tuesday afternoon. The researchers compared the total costs for patients receiving proton therapy versus photon therapy for pediatric medulloblastoma, using both data from real patients and modeling studies to account for costs associated with developing adverse events. 

Vega and his colleagues found that proton therapy was not only cost-effective, but cost-saving.

While these findings are limited to a specific patient population, this study provocatively suggests that proton therapy may be a more financially viable option into the future if clinical research finds that the benefits of avoiding damaging radiation therapy through proton technology outweighs its significant capital cost for a broader range of conditions.

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