Stereotactic ablative therapy is now available for our patients 

15/06/2015 00:00 
University College Hospital has today been named one of four London hospitals providing an innovative type of radiotherapy which causes less harm to surrounding tissue.
 

It has become one of 17 centres across the country to benefit from a £15 million investment by NHS England over three years to assess the use of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) which will allow up to 750 new patients a year to access the treatment.
 
SABR is a modern, more precise delivery technique of radiotherapy which delivers high doses of radiation while causing less damage to surrounding healthy tissue than conventional radiotherapy.
 
Evidence shows that SABR can be effective when used to treat non-small cell lung cancer and the NHS already funds this. However, there is less clinical evidence to show that SABR is effective for other cancers.

To gather the evidence it needs, NHS England is working with the clinical and research community to fully assess the use of SABR to treat a range of cancer indications. This follows a campaign led by former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio, which aims to make SABR more widely available to patients. 
 
NHS England’s Commissioning through Evaluation programme will increase the number of cancers being treated to include oligometastatic disease (cancer that has spread to another part of the body), primary liver tumours and the re-irradiation of cancers in the pelvis and spine. Its clinical panel is also considering including benign spinal tumours and renal conditions as part of the scheme in the future.
 
Kevin Sullivan, Radiotherapy services manager said: “We are really pleased that we will be able to provide this treatment to our cancer patients. UCLH is preparing to become a specialist hub for cancer and this enables us to provide the best available treatment for our patients.”
 
A patient's clinician will identify whether they are a potential candidate for the programme and they will be referred on to a participating centre where appropriate.

NHS England’s investment in the Commissioning through Evaluation programme is in addition to its pledge to fund up to £6m over the next five years to cover the NHS treatment costs of SABR clinical trials funded by Cancer Research UK.

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