Chair ESTRO value-based radiation oncology


In 2011, at the request of the ESTRO Board, the HERO project was launched with the overall objective of developing a knowledge base and an economic model for radiotherapy at the level of European countries. So far, it has focused on the availability of radiotherapy resources (equipment, personnel and the supporting recommendations) and radiotherapy needs (in terms of patients needing radiotherapy, hence the treatments to be performed).
A time-based costing model, available as an online tool to radiotherapy oncology associations and practitioners, has been developed and can help determine radiotherapy resource costs and needs in a given population to be treated with radiotherapy. In addition, reimbursement data were collected across Europe to look at costs from a societal perspective.
ESTRO-HERO also participated in a project that examined the applicability of existing oncology value scales to locoregional cancer treatments, radiotherapy and surgery. It was concluded that the available tools are mainly focused on systemic cancer treatments and are not easily transferable to the context of locoregional cancer treatments such as radiotherapy, which calls for the development of a radiotherapy-specific value framework.


The goal of the chair is to advance the development of scientific outputs to support the development of a value framework for radiation oncology in the context of the HERO (Health Economics in Radiation Oncology) project.


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Prof. dr. Yolande Lievens

Yolande Lievens is a graduate of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where she received her degrees in Medicine, Radiation Oncology and Hospital and Healthcare Management, and completed her PhD in the costing and economic evaluation of radiotherapy. Her clinical focus is radiation therapy for thoracic malignancies, with an additional interest in the role of radiotherapy in haematology and breast cancer. She is closely involved in the organizational aspects of radiotherapy, the position of radiotherapy in multidisciplinary oncology, and the financial and health economics of cancer care, in Europe and worldwide. She is interested in quality issues related to radiation oncology, both in terms of quality assurance and the impact of radiation treatments on quality of life. She is former president of ESTRO and of the Belgian College of Physicians in Radiation Oncology. Among others, she (co)directs the projects Health Economics in Radiation Oncology (ESTRO-HERO), Global Impact of Radiotherapy in Oncology (ESTRO-GIRO) and E2-RADIATE (EORTC-ESTRO Infrastructure for Radiotherapy in Europe), as well as the Network for Optimization of Treatment and Health Systems of the European Cancer Organization. Prof. Lievens is also senior lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Ghent University.