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

Radiotherapy plays a key role in the treatment of cancer alongside surgery and chemotherapy. Over half of all cancer patients require radiotherapy at some stage during their illness, but unfortunately, there is a large shortfall in available facilities and services. With an estimated shortage of about 5,000 radiotherapy machines in developing countries, 70% of cancer patients living in these regions cannot benefit from this essential curative or pain relieving treatment.

Radiotherapy availability

To help turn this issue around, the IAEA, through PACT, established the “Advisory Group on increasing access to Radiotherapy Technology in low and middle income countries” (AGaRT) in 2009, with the technical support of the IAEA's Division of Human Health (NAHU) and Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety (NSRW).

AGaRT acts as a neutral facilitator bringing together radiotherapy equipment manufacturers and suppliers and end-users in developing countries to ensure that the radiotherapy service requirements of LMI countries are met by the technology available.

AGaRT (2009-2014)

During its five years, AGaRT provided an unprecedented platform to:

Assess current radiotherapy opportunities and capacities, and to increase access to radiotherapy technology.

Identify gaps in the accessibility of radiotherapy services and the limitations in the delivery, operation and maintenance of radiotherapy equipment in LMICs.

Review and recommend criteria for radiotherapy equipment that is affordable, effective and appropriate for the conditions of LMICs.

Review and recommend minimum requirements to operate a radiotherapy facility safely and ensure its sustainability in LMICs.

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