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Cancer: Medical Treatments

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the merits of the provision of photodynamic therapy for cancer on the NHS; and what estimate she has made of the cost implications of the provision of such treatment. (141260)

[holding answer 12 June 2007]: As part of its programme of work on interventional procedures, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance on the use of photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of several cancers.

NICE has stated that PDT for the treatment of Barrett’s oesophagus, advanced bronchial carcinoma, endobronchial carcinoma, bile duct cancer and skin tumours is safe and works well enough for use in the national health service, provided normal arrangements are in place for consent, audit and clinical governance.

NICE has also issued guidance on the use of PDT for early stage oesophageal cancer, stating that current evidence on PDT for the treatment of this disease is not adequate to support its use without special arrangements for consent, audit and clinical governance.

The Department has not made any estimate of the cost implications of the provision of PDT for the treatment of cancer.

It will be for the NHS at a local level to decide whether to offer this treatment to patients.