NHS England action to save lives by catching more cancers early

NHS England announces the scaling up of an innovative scheme that catches lung cancer early by scanning patients, along with new details of a more sensitive bowel cancer test that could save thousands of lives.

NHS England is now funding scanners in other areas as part of a national programme to diagnose cancer earlier, improve the care for those living with cancer and ensure each cancer patient gets the right care for them. This follows the success of the Manchester scanner scheme, where mobile scanners are detecting four out of five cases of lung cancer in the early stages when it is easier to treat. The mobile scanning trucks have picked up one cancer for every 33 patients scanned over the course of a year.

Plans for ‘FIT’, a more sensitive bowel cancer test that could see as many as 1,500 more cancer caught earlier every year have also been confirmed.

‘FIT’ is an easy to use home testing kit which predicts bowel cancer, following the introduction of the test almost a third of a million more people are expected to complete screening. The sensitivity level determines the number of people who should go on for further cancer testing.

 

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National lung cancer audit

National Lung Cancer Audit 2016: Key findings for patients and carers | The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership

The information in this booklet aimed at patients and carers is a summary of key results from the 2016 National Lung Cancer Audit (NLCA) annual report, which looked at patients diagnosed from 1 January to 31 December 2015.  This booklet specifically looks at how the organisation performed in key areas of the patient pathway. It does not include information on the types of treatment or drugs available to lung cancer patients.

The report can be downloaded here

Immediate chest X-ray for patients at risk of lung cancer presenting in primary care

Neal, R.D. et al. (2017) British Journal of Cancer. 116, pp. 293-302

AS0000184F07 Hospital doctors looking at X-ray of lungs

Image source: Anthea Sieveking – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Background: Achieving earlier stage diagnosis is one option for improving lung cancer outcomes in the United Kingdom. Patients with lung cancer typically present with symptoms to general practitioners several times before referral or investigation.

Conclusions: We have demonstrated the feasibility of individually randomising patients at higher risk of lung cancer, to a trial offering urgent investigation or usual care.

Read the full abstract here

Immunotherapy improves the prognosis of lung cancer: do we have to change intensive care unit admission and triage guidelines?

Guillon, A. et al. Critical Care. Published online: 27 January 2017

Bald heads may soon not be a sign that identifies a cancer patient receiving treatment. Indeed, therapies for cancer patients are improving dramatically leading to increased survival rates, and most are associated with a different toxicity profile. Recently, antibody-based therapy has transformed the therapeutic landscape and biology of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other solid tumors. This may also reshuffle the playing cards for an intensive care unit (ICU) admission policy due to improved outcomes.

In November 2016, the results of the KEYNOTE-024 trial showed for the first time the superiority of immunotherapy over chemotherapy as first-line treatment for NSCLC [1]. In this phase 3 trial, a humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) against programmed death 1 (PD-1) was tested in patients who had previously untreated advanced NSCLC. The clinical trial was stopped by the safety monitoring committee on the basis of substantial clinical benefit of immunotherapy, and patients remaining in the chemotherapy group were switched to receive immunotherapy.

Read the full article here

UK lung cancer survival rates are improving

7% rise in one-year survival for lung cancer patients | Royal College of Physicians.

The National Lung Cancer Audit annual report 2016, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), shows an encouraging rise in survival as more patients receive life-prolonging treatments.

The report covers patients with lung cancer first diagnosed in 2015. It says there was a 7% increase in the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer surviving for longer than one year – rising from 31% to 38% in the five-year period from 2010 to 2015.

In addition, 60% of lung cancer patients received anti-cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery, meeting the target set out in the 2015 annual audit report.

Full report: National Lung Cancer Audit annual report 2016

 

National lung cancer audit

The Royal College of Physicians has published National Lung Cancer Audit annual report 2016.

This is the 12th report on the clinical component (process of care) of the National Lung Cancer Audit. It publishes national and named team results on the quality of lung cancer care for patients diagnosed between 1 January and 31 December 2015. The key findings include a 7% rise in one-year survivorship since 2010.

Additional link: Royal College of Physicians news item

Lung Cancer Clinical Outcome Publication 2016

The clinical outcomes publication is an NHS England initiative to publish quality measures at unit level and the level of individual consultant doctor using national clinical audit and administrative data | RCoP

lung-audit

Image source: RCoP

The aims of publishing these results are to:

  • reassure patients that the quality of clinical care is high
  • assist patients in having an informed conversation with their consultant or GP about the procedure or operation they may have
  • provide information to individuals, teams and organisations to allow them to monitor and improve the quality of the clinical care they provide locally and nationally.

Read the overview here

Read the full report here