Methodology

Back to the Radioligand Therapy Readiness Hub

Overview

Radioligand therapy is a specialised, targeted cancer treatment that has been shown to significantly improve survival and quality of life. Successful delivery of radioligand therapy requires interaction between healthcare professionals from different specialties as well as collaboration between sectors. Careful planning is needed across the entire radioligand therapy pathway to ensure that the treatment is effectively and sustainably integrated into care.

The Radioligand Therapy Readiness Hub aims to encourage the sharing of best practice in ensuring health system preparedness for the integration of radioligand therapy between different geographies, settings and cancer types. As the use of this treatment modality increases across various indications, different settings can learn how to overcome potential barriers to integration and emulate examples of best practice seen elsewhere.

Identifying examples

The Radioligand Therapy Readiness Hub collects examples of activities and initiatives, drawn from different clinical settings around the world, which aim to improve integration of and readiness for radioligand therapy. Examples are chosen using inclusion/exclusion criteria, a call for information and the search strategy outlined below (see search strategies, below).

 

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Inclusion criteria

  • Initiatives must aim to improve integration of and/or system readiness for radioligand therapy, and can be related to any domain of a health system (i.e. governance, regulation and reimbursement, service provision, identified need and health information).
  • Initiatives must have a focus on radioligand therapy or paired diagnostics and should be relevant to at least one part of radioligand therapy’s delivery (e.g. referral and eligibility assessment, treatment planning, preparation, administration, follow-up, data collection) or activities to support training or advocacy initiatives.
  • Where there are multiple examples of the same type of initiative, the initiative that demonstrates greatest improvement in the integration of and/or readiness for radioligand therapy will be chosen.
  • Initiatives that aim to improve integration of radioligand therapy must come from indications for which the therapy is already approved for clinical use.
  • Initiatives can be from any country around the world.
  • Initiatives may come from published or grey literature, policy documents, news stories, conference proceedings or examples recommended by colleagues/patients/healthcare providers, including members of the project’s International Advisory Group.
  • Initiatives must be supported by evidentiary standards.

Exclusion criteria

  • Initiatives launched by commercial entities which include commercial products.
  • Initiatives that do not offer any published literature nor sufficient evidentiary standards.
  • Initiatives that do not have a demonstrable benefit over the current standard of care.
  • Initiatives that are not related to radioligand therapy or associated diagnostics.
  • Initiatives that do not clearly improve integration of or readiness for radioligand therapy.

 

Sources of information

Initiatives for inclusion in the readiness hub are identified through:

  • examples extracted from previous research and applications of the Radioligand Therapy Readiness Assessment Framework
  • examples submitted via a call for information
  • examples recommended by colleagues/patients/healthcare providers, including members of the project’s International Advisory Group
  • a structured search of PubMed using defined search criteria
  • snowballing from reference lists of published studies
  • Google search and alerts, using defined search criteria.

 

Search strategies

PubMed

Search strategies for PubMed are presented below, and are used to guide periodic literature searches using email alerts.

Search strings:

  • (1 OR 2) AND 4
  • (1 OR 2) AND (5 OR 6)
  • (1 OR 2) AND (7 OR 8)
  • (1 OR 2) AND (9 OR 10)
  • (1 OR 2) AND 11
  • (1 OR 2) AND 12
  • (1 OR 2) AND 13
  • (1 OR 2) AND 3 AND 4
  • (1 OR 2) AND 3 AND (5 OR 6)
  • (1 OR 2) AND 3 AND (7 OR 8)
  • (1 OR 2) AND 3 AND (9 OR 10)
  • (1 OR 2) AND 3 AND 11
  • (1 OR 2) AND 3 AND 12
  • (1 OR 2) AND 3 AND 13

Google search and alerts

Google Alerts are set up for the following:

  • “radioligand therapy” AND (“integration” OR “readiness” OR “planning” OR “preparedness”) AND (“activity” OR “improvement” OR “initiative”) AND (“health policy”)
  • “radioligand therapy” AND (“imaging” OR “referral pathway” OR “treatment planning” OR “multidisciplinary team”) AND (“improvement” OR “initiative” OR “planning” OR “program” OR “programme”)
  • “radioligand therapy” AND (“recommendations” OR “position paper”)
  • “radioligand therapy” AND (“government initiative” OR “government program” OR “government programme” OR “health policy”)
  • “radioligand therapy” AND (“care pathway” OR “care process model”)
  • “radioligand therapy” AND “data collection” AND (“use” OR “implementation”)
  • “radioligand therapy” AND (“guideline” OR “recommendations” OR “requirements”)
  • “radioligand therapy” AND (“administration” OR “planning” OR “coordination”)

 

Approval and sign-off

Using feedback from the call for information, the radioligand therapy team reviews and selects examples based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria. The shortlist of examples are then shared with our International Advisory Group for their comment and approval.

Once examples have been approved, they are drafted in full (see Drafting process), reviewed by The Health Policy Partnership’s (HPP’s) editorial team and then posted.

Full editorial control of the readiness hub and its content rests with HPP.

 

Drafting process

An initial draft of the post is developed based on initial information from the call for information, previous research on the topic and novel desk research.

Each written example follows the same format:

  • Summary: a brief overview of the context and activity or initiative, and what it has achieved.
  • Approach: a description of the activity or initiative, including where it is located, why it was it developed, how it was implemented and what topic area is covered.
  • What has been achieved: an overview of how the activity or initiative has contributed to improving the integration of and/or readiness for radioligand therapy.
  • Future relevance: the lessons learnt from the approach or any future projects related to the activity or initiative.
  • Further information: links to relevant information, including websites, reports, publications, conference materials, videos and contact details of the initiative lead.

 

Interviews with initiative leads

Review of the content of each example by those involved in the initiative being described is crucial. Each draft readiness hub example is emailed to an individual who is involved or leading the initiative. They are asked to comment on the draft and are invited to take part in a virtual interview.

The interview provides an opportunity to validate and enhance the description of the initiative. The interviews are used to check the accuracy of the written examples, fill in gaps in the desk research and to obtain up-to-date information on each initiative. Interviews are conducted via videoconference by a member of the radioligand therapy project team.

Following the interview, individuals contacted have the opportunity to review the readiness hub examples before they are published. They are welcome to provide contact details, which can be presented alongside the example, to facilitate contact with interested stakeholders.