78 trusts will receive funding for new machines that will improve patient experience and lead to earlier diagnosis | via Department of Health and Social Care
The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust is one of 78 trusts that will benefit from funding for new cancer testing and detection technology. The new machines will improve screening and early diagnosis of cancer, and are part of the government’s commitment to ensure 55,000 more people survive cancer each year.
Last month the Prime Minister announced the extra £200 million in funding for new cancer screening equipment. 78 trusts will receive funding over the next 2 years to replace, refurbish and upgrade:
CT and MRI scanners – bringing in alternatives with lower radiation levels
breast screening imaging and assessment equipment
Replacing and upgrading machines will improve efficiency by:
making them easier to use
being quicker to scan and construct images
reducing the need to re-scan
This new equipment also brings new capability, with many machines enabled for artificial intelligence (AI) so the NHS is ready for the challenges of the future.
Each trust has been allocated funding for new machines based on an assessment of local infrastructure and local population need. They will all contribute to the NHS Long Term Plan’s goal of catching three-quarters of all cancers earlier when they are easier to treat.
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.
This report examines waiting time standards for elective and cancer treatment and factors associated with performance in meeting these standards | National Audit Office
This review presents data on the NHS’s performance against current waiting times standards for elective and cancer care in England, and some of the factors associated with that performance. It draws together existing evidence and analysis by the Department, NHS England, NHS Improvement and other stakeholders. The National Audit Office builds on this evidence base with it’s own analysis to provide added insight into:
changes in waiting times performance, and variations in that performance;
the impact of waiting times performance on patients;
the factors that influence waiting times performance; and
NHS England’s and NHS Improvement’s approach to managing and improving waiting times performance.
The report concludes that while increased demand and funding constraints affect the entire system, other factors are linked with differences in performance both over time and across trusts. These include staff shortages for diagnostic services, a lack of available beds, inefficient processes and, in some cases, patient choices. The report calls for significant investment in staffing and infrastructure to meet new commitments outlined in the new NHS Long Term Plan.
NIHR | April 2018 | Prime minister announces £75 million to support new prostate cancer research
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It has recently overtaken breast cancer as the third most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Now, £75 million funding has been announced by the Prime Minister to support new research into early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. This will be used to complement and extend research undertaken over the past 15 years by the NIHR, Cancer Research UK, Prostate Cancer UK and the Medical Research Council.
New studies will test treatments such as more precise radiotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound, and cryotherapy, alongside supportive interventions including exercise and dietary advice.
They will also particularly target groups at higher risk of prostate cancer, such as black men – one in four of whom will develop the disease – men aged 50 or over, and men with a family history of prostate cancer.
Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive at the NIHR Clinical Research Network, said:
“Clinical research brings us closer to the development of new treatments for prostate cancer patients.
“The NIHR will work closely with the NHS, life sciences industry, charities and research funders to support the recruitment of 40,000 men into research studies over the next five years. This will provide more opportunities for earlier access to new drugs and therapies, which will ultimately lead to improved diagnoses and care in the future.”
Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are central to this process and all bids should be explicitly linked to the relevant local STP plans. This process is open to any STP, although individual organisations or alliances may bid on behalf of an STP for this funding; submission of applications must be via STPs.
Despite considerable investment and innovation, chemotherapy drugs have had little effect on survival in adults with metastatic cancer. Peter Wise explores the ethical issues relating to research, regulation, and practice
Cancer survival has improved in recent decades. Trends in the US show that five year relative survival in adults with solid cancer has increased from 49% to 68% over 40 years. There have been important advances in chemotherapy in recent years, including for melanoma, medullary thyroid cancer, and prostate cancer. Immunotherapy, together with targeted and precision (personalised) approaches guided by patient and tumour biomarkers, also produces benefit in subgroups of the more common cancers. But how much of the improvement in cancer survival can we attribute to drugs?
Abola, M. V. & Prasad, V. JAMA Internal Medicine. Published online February 01, 2016
This study reviewed transcripts of meetings of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee to the US Food and Drug Administration to characterize potential financial and other conflicts of interest of public speakers.
The Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee advises the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about medications for the treatment of cancer. The committee’s meeting agenda typically includes presentations by both a company seeking marketing approval for an oncologic drug that it sponsors and by the FDA, as well as a public hearing for comments by other speakers. Speakers may be patients with cancer or may represent patient advocacy organizations, and speakers are asked to disclose financial associations with the sponsoring company or other relevant financial associations.
A new report from cancer charity Macmillan makes the case for government and the NHS to implement the recommendations laid out in the cancer strategy so that everyone with cancer gets the best possible care and support.
The advanced breast cancer treatment trastuzumab emtansine (marketed by Roche as Kadcyla) will not be available through normal funding routes on the NHS in England, final guidance from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has said.
The drug has been licensed to treat HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer that has stopped responding to initial treatment. It is capable of extending the life of patients with advanced breast cancer by six months, but the cost of £90 000 (€130 000; $140 000) for an average course of treatment (14.5 months) gives trastuzumab a cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) of £166 000, well above the normal threshold for drugs used at the end of life of around £50 000 per QALY.
In October trastuzumab emtansine was one of five drugs that were reinstated to the list of drugs paid for by England’s Cancer Drugs Fund after a discount from Roche, although the size of the price reduction was not disclosed.2 This meant that women in England will continue to have access to the drug until April next year, when a new cancer drugs fund is due to be launched.