Offering improved breast cancer treatments

Systemic treatment for breast cancer was the focus of the breast clinical forum on 3 December 2013. Following a presentation on extended adjuvant endocrine treatment by Dr Susan Cleator, consultant clinical oncologist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and delegate discussion, it was agreed that patients who have completed the first five years of extended adjuvant treatment should be offered the option to continue with the treatment for a further five years.

The option to continue an aromatase inhibitor beyond five years is not evidence based, but it was acknowledged that this should be a consideration depending on patient risk/benefit ratio. Further work will be undertaken to identify the most efficient way to manage this process.

A discussion around Oncotype Dx also took place, as the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence has recommended Oncotype DX as an option, but currently there is no funding mechanism. The LCA is awaiting discussion with commissioners before deciding how to take this forward.

Dr Mark Harries from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and chemotherapy lead for the LCA breast pathway group, led the discussion on subcutaneous trastuzumab. This new formulation has now been endorsed for use in all provider trusts across London by NHS England (London Region). A patient Information leaflet, a guide for chemotherapy nurses and a treatment protocol on subcutaneous trastuzumab will be available shortly.

The presentations from the event are available here.

The next breast clinical forum is on Tuesday 11 March 2014.

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