Objective: The objective of this study was to directly compare the cost of conformal radiotherapy used with the RTo1 trial with that of non-conformal radiotherapy of the prostate.
Method: Two methods were employed to establish the cost, a simplistic top-down method and the more complicated bottom-up method that involved breaking down the cost elements of the respective treatments and undertaking a non-participative timing study on 37 patients undergoing radiotherapy. Costs were then ascribed based on the time the staff and equipment were utilised.
Results: The total cost of radiotherapy using the top-down method for both non-conformal radiotherapy and 32 fraction conformal radiotherapy was £2890.88, compared with £3342.58 for conformal radiotherapy using 37 fractions. The costs of the bottom-up method were £2485.67 for non-conformal radiotherapy, £2717.67 for 32 fraction conformal radiotherapy and £3110.52 for conformal radiotherapy using a 37 fraction regime.
Conclusions: Conformal radiotherapy of the prostate costs significantly more than non-conformal radiotherapy which reflects the increase in complexity of the technique. Cost differences arose due to increased time in the planning stage and in the actual treatment because of an increase in equipment and staffing costs during treatment.