We are delighted to announce NHS England has referred the development of a pancreatic cancer Clinical Guideline and Quality Standard to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This represents very good news for pancreatic cancer in a week where new statistics show just 1% of pancreatic cancer patients are expected to survive 10 years.
The lack of updated NICE guidelines for pancreatic cancer has been a key platform of Pancreatic Cancer UK's lobbying activity since the publication of its 2011 " Study for Survival" report and the launch of its flagship "Campaign for Hope". The campaign aims to double five-year survival rates within five years and to move the NHS experience of pancreatic cancer patients from one of the worse to one of the best.
This new guideline for pancreatic cancer is expected to positively impact on patient experience and treatment in secondary care. For example, it is likely to provide direction on the most up-to-date and effective surgical, oncological approaches as well as interventions such as radiotherapy. We also expect it to include guidance on well-being, nutrition and diet related issues.
Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, comments, "These new guidelines have the potential to ensure that the treatment and care of all pancreatic cancer patients is in line with the most up to date evidence about best practice and is of the highest standard possible. In our view this is the most important and exciting development in pancreatic cancer since the publication of the Improving Outcomes Guidance nearly 15 years ago."
Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer for NHS England, adds: "The development of clinical guidelines for pancreatic cancer is long overdue. I am delighted that NICE will be taking on this task, and very hopeful that it will result in improved treatment and care for a group of patients whose experience of the NHS, as we know from the Cancer Patient Experience Survey, remains one of the worst."
The NICE timeline for the development of these guidelines is yet to be confirmed. However, it is anticipated that the process will start late 2014 or early 2015.