Global palliative radiotherapy: a framework to improve access in resource-constrained settings

Shekinah N. C. Elmore, Surbhi Grover, Jean-Marc Bourque, Supriya Chopra, Anna Mary Nyakabau, Christian Ntizimira, Eric L. Krakauer, Tracy A. Balboni, Mary K. Gospodarowicz, Danielle Rodin


Radiotherapy is an essential component of cancer therapy. Lack of access to radiotherapy in less-developed countries prevents its use for both cure and symptom relief, resulting in a significant disparity in patient suffering. Several recent initiatives have highlighted the need for expanded access to both palliative medicine and radiotherapy globally. Yet, these efforts have remained largely independent, without attention to overlap and integration. This review provides an update on the progress toward global palliative radiotherapy access and proposes a strategic framework to address further scale-up. Synergies between radiotherapy, palliative medicine, and other global health initiatives will be essential in bringing palliative radiotherapy to patients around the globe.