The Lancet Oncology Commission on Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine presented their research aims, findings and recommendations at ECR 2021, on policy and investment regarding the imaging of cancer patients at country and global levels. These findings may aid in implementing the 2017 Cancer Resolution “Cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach”.
The diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer requires access to imaging to ensure accurate management decisions and optimal outcomes. The global assessment of imaging and nuclear medicine resources identified substantial shortages in equipment and workforce, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). A microsimulation model of 11 cancers showed that the scale-up of imaging would avert 3,2% (2.46 million) of all 76 million deaths caused by the modelled cancers worldwide between 2020 and 2030, saving 54-92 million life-years.
Combining the scale-up of imaging, treatment, and quality of care would provide a net benefit of $2.66 trillion and a net return of $12.43 per $1 invested. With the use of a conservative approach regarding human capital, the scale-up of imaging alone would provide a net benefit of $209.46 billion and net return of $31.61 per $1 invested. With comprehensive scale-up, the worldwide net benefit using the human capital approach is $340.42 billion and the return per dollar invested is $2.46.
Prof. Hedvig Hricak, Chairman Dept Radiology Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, US pointed out that this is the first comprehensive global data collection on imaging and nuclear medicine equipment and workforce yet. Also, it is the first time that evidence demonstrates the substantial health benefits of scaling up imaging and nuclear medicine access for cancer patients globally. As a result, this makes a compelling economic case for further investment in imaging and nuclear medicine.
These improved health and economic outcomes hold true across all geographical regions. The Commission proposes actions and investments that would enhance access to imaging equipment, workforce capacity, digital technology, radiopharmaceuticals, and research and training programmes in LMICs, to produce massive health and economic benefits and reduce the burden of cancer globally.
Image credit: https://oto.wustl.edu/research/laboratories/puram-lab/