September 7, 2010

UK: "Radiotherapy need no Longer be the Cinderella of Cancer Treatment"

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LONDON, England / CancerPartnersUK / News / Sptember 7, 2010

CancerPartnersUK, is today lobbying MPs and health officials about the poor state of radiotherapy services in the UK. The company has today published a comprehensive report, Radiotherapy – A radical plan for Britain, co-authored by Professor Karol Sikora with input from senior oncologists, which demonstrates how the UK has fallen behind with uptake of new technology, such as IMRT and IGRT, but at the same time shows how relatively simple it would be to improve provision across the country.

The CancerPartnersUK report coincides with the publication today of a report by Cancer Research UK - Poor Public Awareness Highlights Radiotherapy’s Cinderella Status which states that there is a general lack of awareness by the public of how good radiotherapy is at treating cancer. Despite the number of people receiving radiotherapy in the UK increasing by 75% since 2000, 12% of cancer patients who might benefit from radiotherapy will not receive it. It says that UK healthcare trusts are failing to offer equal opportunities for patients to receive radiotherapy.

Rupert Cockcroft CEO of CancerPartners UK says: “Poor value is attached to radiotherapy as a major cancer treatment, and there is serious under-provision of radiotherapy in certain parts of the country resulting in a postcode lottery.”

CancerPartners UK has demonstrated that it is possible to rapidly create a growing network of centres, developing a centre in 8 months from the first construction day to treating the first patient. We can help support the local areas by the delivery of cancer treatment technologies such as, Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) and Image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) in purpose built centres. Mr Cockcroft adds: “We deliver our models with patient at the heart of the service, valuing their time, comfort and delivering state-of-the-art treatment.”

CancerPartners UK has now opened three image guided radiotherapy centres in the UK and a fourth is under construction with several more planned for next year. At these centres we treat cancer patients with many types of cancer, from the most common, such as breast cancers and prostate cancer, to more rare and secondary forms such as lung & liver cancer.

We believe this strategy could deliver better value for money and give patients choices which will result in an inevitable improvement in quality and access without an increase in cost. This strategy also fits with the ambitious plans outlined in the recent Department of Health White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS in which the Government has pledged to make the NHS more accountable, freeing staff from excessive bureaucracy and judging success on clinical outcomes.

Professor Karol Sikora, Medical Director of CancerPartners UK says: “Opening up the NHS to new providers of services has never been more important and transforming the provision of cancer care requires imaginative solutions. Britain has a huge resource of dedicated, talented and well trained staff - harnessing their innovative energy is vital to achieve a world class service for future cancer patients

Radiotherapy – A Radical Plan for Britain is available on the CancerPartnersUK website

© CancerPartnersUK