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Purpose: To assess the potential changes in the net costs of focal radiotherapy techniques at differing doses per fraction and interfraction intervals. Methods: Linear quadratic radiobiological modeling is used with appropriate variations in the radiosensitivity and tumor cell proliferation parameters. The notional cost of treatment is calculated from the number of fractions, cost per fraction and the cost of treatment failure, which is itself related to (1-TCP) where TCP is the tumor cure probability. Additional Monte Carlo calculations from ranges of radiobiological parameters have been used to simulate the cost of treatment of tumor populations. Results: The optimum dose per fraction (and optimum overall cost) for conventional (nonfocal) radiotherapy is generally at low doses of around 2 Gy per fraction. The use of hyperfractionated and accelerated radiotherapy in addition to focal radiotherapy techniques appear to be indicated for more radioresistant tumors and if tumor proliferation is extremely rapid, but the need for treatment acceleration is much reduced where effective focal techniques are used Conclusions: Radiobiological and economic modeling can be used to guide clinical Choices o~ dose fractionation techniques providing the key radiobiological parameters are known or if the ranges of likely parameters in a tumor population are known. Focal radiotherapy, by the introduction of changes in the physical dose distribution, produces an upward shift in the optimum dose per fraction and a reduced dependency on overall treatment time.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics

Publication Date





1139 - 1148