Treatment and Care

There are a number of treatments that are part of the overall management of cancer and patient pathway.

The priorities for the Northern Cancer Alliance is ensure the region has the capacity to deliver equitable access to modern cancer treatments and models of care across the region using service evaluations by patients and carers to make improvements. The aim is to reducing variation and improving outcomes for all our population.

Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT).

SACT is a cancer treatment where medication is used to kill cancer cells. There are many different types of chemotherapy medication, but they all work in a similar way. They stop cancer cells reproducing, which prevents them from growing and spreading in the body.

The NCA has a SACT Expert Advisory Group that aims to agree clinical guidelines and patient pathways to support the delivery of high quality equitable services across the region, monitor progress on meeting national cancer standards and ensure improvements are implemented, review and discuss identified risks/untoward incidents to ensure learning is spread and agree a common approach to research and service development.

Genomic Medicine.

The National Human Genome Research Institute defines genomic medicine as “an emerging medical discipline that involves using genomic information about an individual as part of their clinical care (e.g. for diagnostic or therapeutic decision-making) and the health outcomes and policy implications of that clinical use.”

NHS England and Genomics England are leading on the implementation of a new national service to provide a mainstream genomic testing service for cancer patients. The NCA is working with the regions Genomic Medicine Centre to ensure the relevant alliance stakeholders are engaged and informed of forthcoming changes.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy uses the bodies own immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells. It is a new way of treating cancer with research growing at a fast pace.  There are different types of immunotherapy available and these can be used along side other types of cancer treatments.

The NCA has established meaning full dialogue with the providers of immunotherapy identifying the expected rapid increase in use and the need to plan for the associated demands on resources across the region.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is the safe use of controlled doses of ionising radiation to treat people who have cancer. The aim of radiotherapy is to deliver as high a dose of radiation as both possible and necessary to destroy the cancerous tumour(s), whilst sparing the surrounding normal tissues.

The NCA Radiotherapy Network is a collaborative of regional provider representatives. The Networks provides a forum for the sharing of good practice, discussing local and national issues and initiatives. Their role is to develop and maintain up to date clinical guidelines and patient pathways, review local data and metrics and to lead rapid change, including the development and implementation of consistent standards.