Towards an evidence-informed value scale for surgical and radiation oncology: a multi-stakeholder perspective

Lancet Oncol. 2019 Feb;20(2):e112-e123. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30917-3.


Surgery and radiotherapy, two locoregional cancer treatments, are essential to help improve cancer outcomes, control, and palliation. The continued evolution in treatment processes, techniques, and technologies-often at substantially increased costs-demands for direction on outcomes that are most valued by patients, and the evidence that is required before clinical adoption of these practices. Three recently introduced frameworks-the European Society for Medical Oncology Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Value Framework, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Blocks-which all help define the value of oncology treatments, were appraised with a focus on their methods and definition of patient benefit. In this Review, we investigate the applicability of these frameworks to surgical and radiotherapy innovations. Findings show that these frameworks are not immediately transferable to locoregional cancer treatments. Moreover, the lack of emphasis on patient perspective and the reliance on traditional, trial-based endpoints such as survival, disease-free survival, and safety, calls for a new framework that includes real-world evidence with focus on the whole spectrum of patient-centred endpoints. Such an evidence-informed value scale would safeguard against the proliferation of low-value innovation while simultaneously increasing access to treatments that show significant improvements in the outcomes of cancer care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / economics
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Radiation Oncology / standards*
  • Stakeholder Participation
  • Surgical Oncology / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome