NHS ‘one stop shop’ for prostate cancer means faster and more accurate diagnosis | NHS England
The NHS is using cutting edge technology to help slash diagnosis times for prostate cancer from six weeks to one day in a world-leading new approach that virtually eliminates the risk of deadly sepsis.
The new scanning and diagnosis method means a ‘one-stop-shop’ for suspected prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.
The NHS is determined to cut the mortality rate for prostate cancer in the same way that has seen breast cancer rates decline by 10%.
The usual process is an MRI scan followed by a biopsy where around a dozen samples may have to be taken with a needle through the rectum, in order to locate suspect growths on the prostate.
Under the new ‘rapid pathway’ approach, which is being developed in three hospitals across West London, men have a scan, get their results and can have any necessary biopsy, using new FUSION technology, in one day, rather than multiple outpatient visits over four to six weeks.
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.
New ‘quality of life metric’, will use questionnaires to measure how well cancer patients are supported after treatment. | NHS England
NHS England are introducing a new approach to drive improvements in after care which includes personalised plans for people with cancer outlining not only their physical needs, but also other support they may need, such as help at home or financial advice.
The latest national survey shows the vast majority of people with cancer are positive about the NHS care they receive, but there is currently no measure to assess how well patients are supported after treatment.
The new ‘quality of life metric’, which is the first of its kind, will use questionnaires to measure how effective this support is and the data will be made available on My NHS – helping patients, the public, clinicians and health service providers see how well their local after cancer care support is doing.
Investment in innovation must be balanced with the need to ensure the sustainability of healthcare budgets, and all health professionals have a responsibility to help achieve this balance | European Journal of Cancer
Innovation in cancer care does not have to be complex or expensive.
An innovation’s value depends on patient outcomes, quality of life and system costs.
A whole-system, whole-patient approach is required to guide investment in innovation.
Patients must be more involved in defining and assessing the value of innovation.
Investment in real-world data is essential to shape decisions about interventions.
In a project funded by Bloodwise and the Scottish Cancer Foundation, we have created LEUKomics. This online data portal brings together a wealth of CML gene expression data from specialised laboratories across the globe | Lorna Jackson & Lisa Hopcroft for The Conversation
Our intention is to eliminate the bottleneck surrounding big data analysis in CML. Each dataset is subjected to manual quality checks, and all the necessary computational processing to extract information on gene expression. This enables immediate access to and interpretation of data that previously would not have been easily accessible to academics or clinicians without training in specialised computational approaches.
Consolidating these data into a single resource also allows large-scale, computationally-intensive research efforts by bioinformaticians (specialists in the analysis of big data in biology). From a computational perspective, the fact that CML is caused by a single mutation makes it an attractive disease model for cancer stem cells. However, existing datasets tend to have small sample numbers, which can limit their potential.
Big data has brought forward breast cancer research forward by ‘decades’, experts say.
Scientists have created a ‘map’ linking the shape of breast cancer cells to genes turned on and off, and matched it to real disease outcomes, which could one day help doctors select treatments, according to a study published in Genome Research.
Cancer Research UK-funded scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, used large sets of data to map out a network of links between cell shape and genes.
By analysing cell shape in millions of images of more than 300,000 breast cancer cells, and data for more than 28,000 different genes, researchers found that cell shape changes, which can be caused by physical pressures on the tumour, are converted into changes in gene activity.
When they then used their maps to analyse thousands of samples taken from women who took part in the Cancer Research UK funded METABRIC study, the researchers discovered that these changes are linked to clinical outcomes for patients.