COVID-19 rapid guideline: delivery of radiotherapy NICE guideline

NICE |  March 2020 | COVID-19 rapid guideline: delivery of radiotherapy [NG162]

The purpose of this guideline is to maximise the safety of patients who need radiotherapy and make the best use of NHS resources, while protecting staff from infection. It will also enable services to match the capacity for radiotherapy to patient needs if services become limited because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This guidance was first published on 28 March 2020.

NICE has also produced a COVID-19 rapid guideline on delivery of systemic anticancer treatments.

This guideline is for:

  • health and care practitioners
  • health and care staff involved in planning and delivering services
  • commissioners

The recommendations bring together

  • existing national and international guidance and policies
  • advice from specialists working in the NHS from across the UK. These include people with expertise and experience of treating patients for the specific health conditions covered by the guidance during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Full details from NICE

[NICE Consultation] Brain tumours (primary) and brain metastases in adults

NICE |  March 2020 | Brain tumours (primary) and brain metastases in adults | In development [GID-QS10092]

NICE has released a consultation for the 5 key areas for quality improvement which you consider as having the greatest potential to improve the quality of care in this area. 

Closing date for comments: Monday 20 April 2020 at 5pm

Full details from NICE

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer | NICE guideline [NG151] | January 2020

This guideline covers managing colorectal (bowel) cancer in people aged 18 and over. It aims to improve quality of life and survival for adults with colorectal cancer through management of local disease and management of secondary tumours (metastatic disease).


This guideline includes recommendations on:

See also: Colorectal cancer (Quality Standard 20, updated from Aug 2012)

NICE Consultation: Selective internal radiation therapies for treating hepatocellular carcinoma ID1276

 NICE |  December  2019 | Selective internal radiation therapies for treating hepatocellular carcinoma ID1276 In development [GID-TA10381]

The Department of Health and Social Care has asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to produce guidance on using selective internal radiation therapies (SIRT) for treating hepatocellular carcinoma in the NHS in England.

Full details are available from NICE 

The consultation closes on 8 January 2020

NICE: Rezum for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia

NICE |  December  2019 | Rezum for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia

The NICE medical technologies advisory committee (MTAC) has made draft recommendations on this technology following consideration of the evidence and expert views at a meeting on 15th November, 2019

NICE is now seeking feedback, the consultation is open until 8 Jan 2020.

Full details from NICE 


NICE impact report: lung cancer

NICE impact reports review how NICE recommendations for evidence-based and cost-effective care are being used in priority areas of the health and care system, helping to improve outcomes where this is needed most. This report considers how NICE’s evidence based guidance can contribute to improvements in the care of people with lung cancer.

Image source:

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in England and is the leading cause of  cancer death. In 2017, there were almost 39,000 new cases of lung cancer and just over 28,000 related deaths.

Since 2005 and the publication of NICE’s first guideline on lung cancer, NICE has produced a suite of lung cancer related guidance, which aim to improve outcomes by focusing on survival rates and ensuring the most effective tests and treatments are used.

In England, overall survival rates for cancers are improving but there is still a marked difference between lung cancer and other cancers. Between 2012 and 2016 more than 95% of people with breast or prostate cancer survived more than 1 year after their diagnosis, compared to less than 40% of people with lung cancer.

There is an even greater difference between 5-year survival rates. More than 85% of people with breast or prostate cancer survived more than 5 years but just over 15% of people with lung cancer survived this long. When comparing with other countries in Europe, England’s long-term survival for people with lung cancer is poor, ranking 26th out of 29 countries.

Further detail at NICE

Full report: NICEimpact Lung Cancer

Targeted breast cancer treatment approved for NHS use in England

Cancer Research UK | October 2019 | Targeted breast cancer treatment approved for NHS use in England

A new treatment for early stage breast cancer will be made available for certain patients on the NHS in England.

Following the recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), neratinib (Nerlynx) will be offered as an extended treatment for breast cancer patients who’ve had another targeted treatment, trastuzumab (Herceptin), within the last year.


The new treatment is said to “significantly reduce the proportion of breast cancer relapses”, according to short-term trial data.

Neratinib blocks the cancer growth by interfering with chemical signals sent between cells.

It’s recommended for use for patients whose cancer tests positive for hormone receptors and a molecule called HER2. The treatment will only be available to adults who’ve been treated with trastuzumab within the last year, and where trastuzumab was used after initial treatment to help stop their cancer coming back.

This is the first treatment available for patients who have previously taken trastuzumab that maintain the intended effect of that treatment (adjuvant therapy).

Further criteria which patients will have to meet in order to access the drug include:

  • Trastuzumab is the only treatment they’ve taken that targets the molecule HER2
  • If trastuzumab was given before surgery, there were still signs of cancer in the tissue samples removed during surgery (Source: Cancer Research UK)

Read the press release from Cancer Research UK

Full details available from NICE