Elekta recently entered into a partnership with the ESTRO [European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology] Cancer Foundation (ECF) to contribute – hand in hand with various other partners in academia and industry – to the foundation’s mission to ensure that “every patient in Europe will have access to state-of-the-art radiation therapy”.
“Elekta’s addition as a vendor partner with the ECF is welcomed,” says Philip Poortmans, ECF president. “Elekta is one of the top three technology providers in radiation oncology. Elekta and its peers in the industry will provide a critical perspective, along with academia and patient advocacy groups that are also part of this effort.”
“Elekta has had a strong relationship with ESTRO for many years,” adds Francois Pointurier, Elekta’s Senior Vice President, Region Europe. “With the other partners working with ECF, we are stronger in our mission to ensure that individuals in every European country that could benefit from radiation therapy receive the treatment they need. With hope and hard work this partnership will radically improve the visibility of radiation therapy within Europe and parts of Asia.”
Pointurier notes that in contrast to the relative abundance of radiotherapy technology in some countries, such as Germany and France, access is not always paralleling infrastructure and even more constraints are present in many parts of eastern and southeastern Europe.
“A 2013 Lancet study showed that dated cobalt 60 technology is still in significant use in parts of east and southeast Europe,” Pointurier says. “In addition, in 28 of the 33 European countries studied, there were less than four radiotherapy machines per radiation therapy center. Especially in east and southeast Europe, countries need to expand and modernize their radiation therapy equipment.”
The ESTRO Cancer Foundation will attempt to address statistics such as these by leading programs with its partners in industry, academia and patient advocacy groups. The purpose is to ensure that patients have access to radiation therapy as part of their comprehensive cancer care.
The programs will initially focus on making patients, policy makers and the general public aware of the benefits of radiation oncology by using relevant, accurate and targeted information based on scientific evidence produced by ESTRO and its partners.