Value-based proton therapy

Proton therapy is currently still more expensive than conventional radiotherapy. For example, a particle accelerator (cyclotron) is required to generate the particle beam used to irradiate the tumour. This means that careful consideration is required in each case to determine whether the advantages of proton therapy outweigh the higher costs of treatment.

Researchers from TU Delft, LUMC and Erasmus MC are working together at HollandPTC to find ways to make proton therapy more cost effective and to be able to justify the choice of a given treatment programme.

To ensure the care remains affordable, it is important that proton therapy treatments are value-based. This entails a combination of cost effectiveness and a better health outcome than alternative therapies, resulting in the best possible patient well-being. 

The research is focusing on, among others, the following themes:

The use of big data to gain more insight into the added value of proton therapy, the cost effectiveness of the treatment, and the possible side effects
Human-centred system design and better workflows
Ethics of medical innovations
Providing support to decision-makers, with all available clinical and biological information on a patient being used as input
Optimisation of patient well-being during treatment