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Why Target the Globe?: 4-year report (2009-2013) of the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology Global Health Initiative

      By 2020, 70% of all cases of cancer in the world will arise in low-income and middle-income countries (

      American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. Targeting Cancer Care. http://www.astro.org/AboutUs/documents/2007aboutastro.pdf. Available from URL: http://www.astro.org/AboutUs/documents/2007aboutastro.pdf. accessed June 1, 2011.

      ,
      • Barton M.B.
      • Frommer M.
      • Shafiq J.
      Role of radiotherapy in cancer control in low-income and middle-income countries.
      ,
      • Delaney G.
      • Jacob S.
      • Featherstone C.
      • et al.
      The role of radiotherapy in cancer treatment: Estimating optimal utilization from a review of evidence-based clinical guidelines.
      ,
      • Barton M.B.
      • Gebski V.
      • Manderson C.
      • et al.
      Radiation therapy: Are we getting value for money?.
      , ). It is estimated that only 25% of cancer patients in developing countries receive radiation therapy when indicated ( ,

      IAEA. The Advisory Group on increasing access to Radiotherapy Technology (AGaRT) in low and middle income countries.

      ). This lack of access to radiation therapy has created an enormous disparity in cancer treatment to the underserved, higher burden of disease, inferior outcomes, and elevated indirect and direct costs to society ( ,

      IAEA. The Advisory Group on increasing access to Radiotherapy Technology (AGaRT) in low and middle income countries.

      ,

      IAEA, Division of Human Health. Setting up a Radiotherapy Programme: Clinical, Medical Physics, Radiation Protection and Safety Aspects, 2008.

      ,

      WHO. Global status of noncommunicable diseases 2010, http://www.who.int/nmh/publications/ncd_report_chapter5.pdf. Accessed on November 7 2013.

      ). In 1999, the World Health Organization mandated a global strategy to “assist and support nations in the development of effective cancer treatment strategies within the context of their national cancer programs” (
      • Porter A.
      • Aref A.
      • Chodounsky Z.
      • et al.
      A global strategy for radiotherapy: A WHO consultation.
      ). More recently, the United Nations unanimously approved a resolution in support of the “prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, among which cancer is a leading cause of death” (

      WHO. UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases prevention and control, 19–20 Sep 2011, http://www.who.int/nmh/events/un_ncd_summit2011/en/. Accessed on November 1, 2013.

      ). The realization that such a disparity exists in cancer treatments to underserved populations provides impetus for our specialty to develop strategies working toward closing the gap in standard cancer therapy.
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