Cancer Research UK funding tops half a billion pounds

Cancer Research UK raised £540m in fundraising income in the last financial year, an increase of 2 per cent over the previous year, in one of its most successful fundraising years so far.

This increase was in part thanks to more money raised from legacy donations, Race for Life and Stand Up To Cancer, which all raised more than the previous year.  And an additional £2m was raised via Facebook charitable giving, an innovative new fundraising platform that launched towards the end of the year.

Total income for the year was £672m, an increase of 6% on the previous year, which includes fundraising income as well as £125m income from charitable activities – the largest amount ever received, which will be reinvested in research.

Key achievements outlined in Cancer Research UK’s annual report and accounts,  include:

  • Securing a strong commitment to early cancer diagnosis in the NHS Long Term Plan.
  • Three new international Grand Challenge teams awarded £20m each over the next five years, to solve long-standing mysteries in cancer research
  • Launching the Cancer Research UK City of London Centre, a £14m investment to create a world-leading cancer therapeutics research hub.
  • Launching a new Brain Tumour Award funding scheme, to accelerate progress in research on brain tumours.

Full press release at Cancer Research UK

Breast cancer drugs option joins cancer drugs fund

A potentially life-extending drug combination for some people with advanced breast cancer will now be available under the cancer drugs fund (CDF) following approval by NICE and publication of draft guidance

The draft guidance recommends ribociclib (also called Kisqali and made by Novartis) used with fulvestrant as an option for people with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have had previous endocrine therapy.

The positive recommendation follows an improved patient access scheme by the company as part of a commercial arrangement.

Clinical trial evidence suggests that, compared with fulvestrant alone, ribociclib with fulvestrant increases the length of time before the disease progresses. However, it is not known whether ribociclib increases the length of time people live, because the final trial results are not available yet.

The committee recognised that ribociclib with fulvestrant has the potential to be cost-effective, and therefore recommended it for use on the CDF. This will allow more evidence to be collected to address the uncertainties around overall survival and cost-effectiveness.

Full dtail at NICE

Cancer Research: Skin cancer diagnoses rise by 45% in a decade

Cancer Research UK| July 2019 | Skin cancer rates rocket by 45% in 10 years 

Figures analysed by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) demonstrate that in the 10 years since 2004 skin cancer rates rose by  more than a third (35%) for women and by almost three-fifths (55%) for men.

The figures have been released to mark the launch of the charity’s Own Your Tone campaign which encourages people to embrace their natural skin tone and protect their skin from too much sun.

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Image source: cancerresearchuk.org

Melanoma skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and the second most common cancer in people aged 25-49, but almost 90% of melanoma cases could be prevented if people took better care of their skin in the sun both at home and abroad. Getting sunburnt, just once every two years, can triple the risk of melanoma skin cancer.

Karis Betts, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “Sun safety is not just for when you’re going abroad, the sun can be strong enough to burn in the UK from the start of April to the end of September, so it’s important that people are protecting themselves properly both at home and further afield when the sun is strong. We want to encourage people to embrace their natural look and protect their skin from UV damage by seeking shade, covering up and regularly applying sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and 4 or 5 stars.” (Source: Cancer Research UK)

Read the full press release from Cancer Research UK 

In the news:

Independent Cheap flights blamed as skin cancer rates soar by 45 per cent in a decade

BBC News Skin cancer risk ‘not just from holiday sun’

Meaningful increases in physical activity levels after cancer can be sustained for three months or more, finds Systematic Review

NIHR | July 2019 | Meaningful increases in physical activity levels after cancer can be sustained for three months or more

An NIHR-funded review is the first review of physical activity maintenance across cancer types. The review pooled 19 studies which measured the effect of interventions for physical activity on 5,792 adult cancer survivors. 

Interventions which were included in the review included supervised group exercise sessions, telephone coaching, education and encouragement to do home-based exercise. Providers included physiotherapists, counsellors and health coaches. Control groups were mostly given printed exercise leaflets.

Patients who received only printed materials also achieved modest increases in physical activity, suggesting low-intensity interventions may be sufficient in promoting small changes in behaviour for some motivated groups. By contrast, the results suggest that more intensive and costly interventions with support could be targeted at groups such as older people with physical limitations (Source: NIHR).

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Full details from NIHR

Grimmett, C., et al | 2019| Systematic review and meta-analysis of maintenance of physical activity behaviour change in cancer survivors | International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity| 16| 37 | https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-019-0787-4

Abstract

Background

Physical activity can improve health and wellbeing after cancer and may reduce cancer recurrence and mortality. To achieve such long-term benefits cancer survivors must be habitually active. This review evaluates the effectiveness of interventions in supporting maintenance of physical activity behaviour change among adults diagnosed with cancer and explores which intervention components and contextual features are associated with effectiveness.

 

Methods

Relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were identified by a search of Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase and PsychINFO. Trials including adults diagnosed with cancer, assessed an intervention targeting physical activity and reported physical activity behaviour at baseline and more than or equal to 3 months post-intervention were included. The behaviour change technique (BCT) taxonomy was used to identify intervention components and the Template for Intervention Description and Replication to capture contextual features. Random effect meta-analysis explored between and within group differences in physical activity behaviour. Standardised mean differences (SMD) describe effect size.

 

Results

Twenty seven RCTs were included, 19 were pooled in meta-analyses. Interventions were effective at changing long-term behaviour; SMD in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) between groups 0.25; 95% CI = 0.16–0.35. Within-group pre-post intervention analysis yielded a mean increase of 27.48 (95% CI = 11.48-43.49) mins/wk. of MVPA in control groups and 65.30 (95% CI = 45.59–85.01) mins/wk. of MVPA in intervention groups. Ineffective interventions tended to include older populations with existing physical limitations, had fewer contacts with participants, were less likely to include a supervised element or the BCTs of ‘action planning’, ‘graded tasks’ and ‘social support (unspecified)’. Included studies were biased towards inclusion of younger, female, well-educated and white populations who were already engaging in some physical activity.

 

Conclusions

Existing interventions are effective in achieving modest increases in physical activity at least 3 months post-intervention completion. Small improvements were also evident in control groups suggesting low-intensity interventions may be sufficient in promoting small changes in behaviour that last beyond intervention completion. However, study samples are not representative of typical cancer populations. Interventions should consider a stepped-care approach, providing more intensive support for older people with physical limitations and others less likely to engage in these interventions.

Link to full text article:

NIHR Signal Meaningful increases in physical activity levels after cancer can be sustained for three months or more

BMC Systematic review and meta-analysis of maintenance of physical activity behaviour change in cancer survivors

Emergency presentations of cancer: quarterly data

Estimated proportion of all malignant cancers where patients first presented as an emergency | Public Health England

The quarterly emergency presentations of cancer data has been updated by PHE’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS). This latest publication includes quarterly data for October 2018 to December 2018 (quarter 3 of financial year 2018 to 2019) and an update of the one year rolling average.

Data estimates are for all malignant cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) and are at CCG level, with England as a whole for comparison.

The proportion of emergency presentations for cancer is an indicator of patient outcomes.

Full detail at Public Health England

Prehabilitation for people with cancer

Prehabilitation for people with cancer: principles and guidance for prehabilitation within the management and support of people with cancer | The Royal College of Anaesthetists, Macmillan Cancer Support, and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cancer and Nutrition Collaboration

This document calls for changes to the delivery of cancer care across the UK, with a greater focus on prehabilitation including nutrition, physical activity and psychological support.

What is prehabilitation?

Prehabilitation supports people living with cancer to prepare for treatment. It promotes healthy behaviours and prescribes exercise, nutrition and psychological interventions based on a person’s needs, to help them find their best way through.

When should it be implemented?

Prehabilitation should be implemented in the early stages of the patient pathway, ideally soon after diagnosis and well in advance of treatment for maximum benefit. It should be seen as part of the rehabilitation pathway, as a way to optimise a person’s health and wellbeing, maximising their resilience to treatment throughout the cancer journey.

What are the benefits?

Prehabilitation offers patients and care givers three main benefits:

  • Personal empowerment: A sense of control and purpose, which prepares people for treatment and improves their quality of life
  • Physical and psychological resilience: An opportunity to improve physiological function and psychological wellbeing, which offers resilience to the effects of cancer treatment, enhances the quality of recovery and helps people to live life as fully as they can
  • Long-term health: An opportunity to reflect on the role of healthy lifestyle practices after a cancer diagnosis, to promote positive health behaviour change.

Further detail at Macmillan Cancer Support

Full document: Prehabilitation for people with cancer: principles and guidance for prehabilitation within the management and support of people with cancer