WHO list of priority medical devices for cancer management

This publication addresses medical devices that can be used for management of cancer and specifcally describes medical devices for six types of cancer: breast, cervical, colorectal, leukemia, lung and prostate.

This publication is the outcome of a project developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the need for a model reference list of basic and priority medical devices required for cancer management, with the goal of increasing access to these medical devices especially in low- and middle-income countries .

It is based on the list of clinical interventions selected from clinical guidelines on prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, monitoring and end of life care. This publication addresses medical devices for six types of cancer: breast, cervical, colorectal, leukemia, lung and prostate. The first section defines the global increase in cancer cases, the global goals to manage NCDs and the WHO activities related to these goals. The second section presents the methodology used for the selection of medical devices that support clinical interventions required to screen, diagnose, treat and monitor cancer stages, as well as the provision of palliative care, based on evidence-based information. The third section lists the priority medical devices required to manage cancer in seven different units of health care services: 1. Vaccination, clinical assessment and endoscopy, 2. Medical imaging and nuclear medicine, 3. Surgery, 4. Laboratory and pathology, 5. Radiotherapy, 6. Systemic therapy and 7. Palliative and end of life care. The lists include the basic technologies required to provide general services and the specific priority medical devices to manage cancer. This section also examines other health system components such as infrastructure, human resources and quality management requirements and guidance documents by service unit. The last section proposes the activities required in a country or setting where the present guidance and lists are to be implemented.

The primary financial support for this study was provided by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). WHO acknowledges and is most grateful to all the participants of the meetings and consultations, the Steering Committee members and the experts who provided advice in the development of this document.