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Number of patients receiving advanced brain tumour treatment to double


21 June 2016

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Twice as many patients are set to receive a new treatment for brain tumours over the next three years, says NHS England.

The new seven-year contracts for stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy (SRS/SRT) form part of the NHS England’s Cancer Strategy.

The specialist treatments can be used to treat patients with intracranial conditions, such as benign and malignant brain tumours.

More than 6,200 patients a year are expected to benefit from these services by 2018-19, compared to just over 2,400 in 2014-15. 

Twice as many patients are set to receive a new treatment for brain tumours over the next three years, says NHS England.

The new seven-year contracts for stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy (SRS/SRT) form part of the NHS England’s Cancer Strategy.

The specialist treatments can be used to treat patients with intracranial conditions, such as benign and malignant brain tumours.

More than 6,200 patients a year are expected to benefit from these services by 2018-19, compared to just over 2,400 in 2014-15. 

The new SRS/SRT services will be spread across England, improving access to services and making it possible to treat more people closer to home.

Furthermore, by increasing access to these radiotherapies, fewer people will have to undergo invasive surgery.

Angela Collett, information manager at the Brain and Spine Foundation, said: “The Brain and Spine Foundation welcome this important step from NHS England to increase access to specialist stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic radiotherapy, which will make a major difference for thousands of patients diagnosed with life changing brain illnesses.”

The treatments require specialist radiographers and physicists, which means the SRS/SRT can only be delivered in certain hospitals.

The services are arranged to ensure that patients in all areas of the country have access to the treatments for more common brain tumours and metastases.

Larger national centres will be set up to provide specialist care and support for children and patients with rare and complex conditions.

NHS England says the increased number of SRS/SRT treatments will also be delivered at a lower cost due to expected efficiencies of 25%.

Dr Jonathan Fielden, NHS England’s director of specialised services, said: “As a result of this procurement thousands more patients will benefit from this very precise and effective form of treatment.

“This is another example of how NHS England is working hard to achieve better services and outcomes for patients at the same time as better value for the health service.”

Further improvements to radiotherapy access and quality are set to be the subject of a separate Radiotherapy Services Review.

The review will plan for a modern national radiotherapy network by September, with a revised radiotherapy service specification by the end of the year.

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