Seminars in Radiation Oncology
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The last few years have seen a significant growth of interest in the global radiation therapy crisis. Various organizations have quantified the need and are providing aid in support of addressing the shortfalls existing in many low-to-middle income countries (LMICs). With the tremendous demand for new facilities, equipment and personnel, it is very important to recognize the quality and safety challenges and to address them directly. An examination of publications on quality and safety in radiation therapy indicates a consistency in a number of the recommendations; however, these authoritative reports were generally based on input from high-resourced contexts. Here we review these recommendations with a special emphasis on issues that are significant in LMICs. While multidimensional, training and staffing are top priorities; any support provided to lower resourced settings must address the numerous facets associated with quality and safety indicators. Strong partnerships between high-income and other countries will enhance the development of safe and resource-appropriate strategies for advancing the radiation treatment process. The real challenge is the engagement of a strong spirit of cooperation, collaboration and communication between the multiple organizations in support of reducing the cancer divide and improving the provision of safe and effective radiation therapy.