Radioligand therapy is a highly targeted cancer treatment that delivers radiation directly to cancer cells, with minimal effect on the surrounding healthy cells. With an expanding array of applications, a tool was needed to enable assessment of the extent to which health systems around the world are ready for the delivery of this cancer treatment.
Radioligand therapy allows for a high degree of precision in the delivery of cancer care. It can be adapted to different types of cancer located anywhere in the body and is delivered to cancerous cells directly, leaving healthy cells largely unaffected. It is currently approved for use in certain types of neuroendocrine neoplasms and lymphoma, and is being trialled in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and several other cancers. With new applications of radioligand therapy on the horizon, now is the time to plan for its wider use in the future.
The Radioligand Therapy Readiness Assessment Framework can be adapted to any country or health service context. It divides the health system into five domains: governance, regulation and reimbursement, identified need, service provision and health information, with each broken down further into subdomains. The framework enables a detailed analysis of a health system and helps to identify areas for change by clinicians, researchers, patient advocates and policymakers.
The framework is underpinned by research on cancer care planning and preparedness. It draws on tools developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, World Health Organization and International Atomic Energy Agency, and European Society for Radiology, among others, as well as expert consensus.