One-shot breast cancer treatment gets NICE nod

NICE draft guidance has recommended the use of a new breast cancer treatment that delivers radiotherapy treatment in a single dose.

In recent draft guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), intrabeam radiotherapy has been approved for use on the NHS in controlled circumstances.

The intrabeam radiotherapy treatment, proven to be effective in breast cancer patients, is delivered in a single dose, offering a more efficient treatment option for patients.

Professor Carole Longson, director of health technology evaluation at NICE, said: “This single dose is given at the same time as surgery, eliminating the need for multiple hospital visits.”

She added: “The Appraisal Committee concluded that whilst current evidence was not extensive, this type of radiotherapy was more convenient for patients and can improve a patient’s quality of life.”

As the treatment is still relatively new, the guidelines stipulate that the treatment should only be given to patients who have fully understood the pros and cons of the treatment, with their details to be entered onto a national register.

The draft guidance will be under public consultation until 15 August, with a final recommendation due in November 2014.