Purpose. Trends suggest that cancer spending growth will accelerate. One method for controlling costs is to examine whether the benefits of new technologies are worth the extra costs. However, especially new and emerging technologies are often more costly, while limited clinical evidence of superiority is available. In that situation it is often unclear whether to adopt the new technology now, with the risk of investing in a suboptimal therapy, or to wait for more evidence, with the risk of withholding patients their optimal treatment. This trade-off is especially difficult when it is costly to reverse the decision to adopt a technology, as is the case for proton therapy. Real options analysis, a technique originating from financial economics, assists in making this trade-off.