The cost of hyperthermia: Nine years experience at the radiation therapy department of the Turin University

P. Gabriele, R. Orecchia, E. Madon, M. G. Ruo Redda, G. L. Sannazzari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In this paper the authors try to quantify the expenditure for the equipment, staft, treatment per patient and research, sustained at the Radiation Therapy Department of the University of Turin for the treatment of cancer with hyperthermia, Methods: Two hyperthermic computerized devices are available: the SAPIC SVO3 multifrequencies system (915, 434 and 2-30 MHz) for external hyperthermia, and the SACEM system, working only with the frequency of 915 MHz, for interstitial and intracavitary heating. From September 1983 to December 1991, 408 patients have been treated with hyperthermia, for a total number of treated sites of 483; 2960 heating sessions were performed, with a average of six sessions per patient. Results: The overall cost of our 'hyperthermia project' was about 2,000,000,000 Italian liras; the equipment cost was estimated at 1,258,650,000 Liras (839,100 US$), and the cost per treatment and per heat session at about 3,985,200 (2676 US$) and 664,200 liras (443 US$), respectively. The cost of the research program can be estimated in 175,000,000 liras (116,666US$). The National Health System provides for a partial reimbursement of 2,000,000 liras (1,333 US$) for each course of hyperthermia. Taking into account the mean expected life expectancy and increasing purchases for replacement of equipment, these costs increase 10% each year. As regards the cost-benefit problem, using the Rees formula it varies from 1112 US$ when hyperthermia is used as elective treatment to 3380 US$ when hyperthermia is used as palliative treatment. Conclusions: Hyperthermia is, in our experience, an expensive therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-331
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • cost
  • hyperthermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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