Prostate cancer team win BMJ award 

08/05/2015 00:00 
The prostate cancer team at University College Hospital has won the BMJ Award for Innovation Team of the Year for "using its knowledge to deliver change" and showing "courage in raising the possibility that things could be done differently".

The prostate cancer team took "a fresh look at the entire patient pathway in prostate cancer, leading to better diagnoses, fewer and better biopsies and a vastly improved patient experience", said lead clinician Hashim Ahmed.
At the heart of the change is better diagnosis. “Prostate cancer historically has been the only solid cancer that relied on random biopsies for diagnosis,” Mr Ahmed said.

“They have been taken through the back passage with no knowledge of the cancer location. Bleeding, pain, and life-threatening infections can occur, and the random needle deployment leads to 30% of cancers being missed and indolent cancers detected by chance.”
At UCLH, highly accurate magnetic resonance imaging allows men without cancer to avoid biopsy, while those with a suspicious lesion can have an accurately targeted biopsy, carried out through the skin and virtually eliminating infection. A one-stop diagnostic service allows men to be reviewed, scanned and, if necessary, biopsied in one day.
“It was a challenge to do all these things,” said Mr Ahmed, who holds positions at both UCLH and UCL.

“But we now have 30% fewer biopsies, 30% better cancer detection, fewer radical treatments, a greater number of day-case treatments and fewer complications and side-effects. The next step is to get this new pathway adopted across Europe.”

The multi-disciplinary flagship unit of over 50 includes patients, nurses, urologists, radiologists, pathologists, trialists, imaging experts, engineering scientists and molecular researchers.

The composition of the unit is at the heart of what is encouraged by the NIHR UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre. It was conceived almost eight years ago by Professor Mark Emberton and has led to large step changes in practice over the last five years.

The prostate team has received over £12 million in grant funding over that time from funders such as the Pelican Cancer Foundation, Prostate Cancer UK, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the NIHR HTA and i4i, St Peters Trust, Prostate Cancer Foundation as well as numerous companies.
The judges said they felt that the innovations UCLH/UCL had made in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer were a high impact, disruptive approach that could have a significant global
The benefits were clear in terms of outcomes (including patient experience) and costs. The novel approach impacted men’s lives in a positive way, negating the need for an undignified and painful process in many cases. The judges commended the team’s ambition for their approach to become standard clinical practice worldwide over the next five years and looked forward to seeing this becoming reality.

The Home for Lunch team were runners up in the same category. The project provides a framework which encourages everyone involved in the care of a patient to focus on planning their discharge and to take rapid action to avoid delays on the day, using a multi-disciplinary approach. The discharge team can help patients pack their bags and accompany them to the discharge lounge so that they can leave the hospital before lunchtime.


 Latest news

 Contact details

Communications unit
2nd floor central
250 Euston Road
London NW1 2PG

Media enquiries

Switchboard: 020 3456 7890
Media enquiries: 020 3447 7542 / 020 3447 9506

Out of hours
The normal working hours for the Communications Unit are Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. The only media enquiries that will be answered outside of these working hours are urgent enquiries and those relating to major incidents. To access the out-of-hours service call switchboard on 0845 155 5000.

Share this story