Proton therapy less costly than other techniques

3 November 2014

A new study has found that many breast cancer patients could benefit from including proton therapy in their treatment plan.

The research conducted at the University of Texas found that, in terms of duration of treatment and cost, many people in the early stages of the disease could be helped by accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) with proton therapy, compared to whole breast irradiation (WBI).

The cost analysis study was based on typical patient characteristics, with researchers analysing the expense of eight different types of partial and whole breast irradiation therapies available to early-stage breast cancer patients. 

The cost of proton therapy when used for APBI, which was used to reduce the length of treatment and toxicity, was estimated at $13,833 (£8,644). In contrast, using WBI using x-ray therapy carried the highest costs with charges of $19,599. 

On average, the cost across the eight treatment options was $12,784, making the expense of proton therapy similar to other types of radiation.

Dr Valentina Ovalle, postdoctoral research fellow and principal investigator, said the findings were important to help patients pick the right treatment option, and balance the cost.

Posted by Jeanette Royston​


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