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New NICE guideline on Pancreatic Cancer published

We are happy to announce the publication of the NICE guideline on Pancreatic Cancer developed by the National Guideline Alliance (NGA).

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in the UK. On average, 23 people die each day from the disease. The UK has one of the worst survival rates in Europe, with average life expectancy on diagnosis just 4–6 months and a relative survival to 1 year of approximately 20%.

Only 3% of people survive for 5 years or longer. This figure has not improved much in over 40 years, and the more recent effects of increased surgery and use of adjuvant chemotherapy on survival outcomes is not yet established.

Because of late diagnosis only 8% of people with pancreatic cancer have potentially curative surgery. However, people have up to a 30% chance of surviving 5 years if their tumour can be surgically removed and they also have adjuvant chemotherapy.

Even after diagnosis of pancreatic cancer there is evidence from the National Cancer Intelligence Network of wide variation in practice throughout England. There are often delays in access to diagnosis and treatment (as highlighted in the NHS England Five Year Forward View PDF), and it is hoped this guideline will help to improve this.

This guideline was developed by the National Guideline Alliance (NGA) working with a Guideline Committee of health care experts and lay members. The guideline covers the diagnosis and management of Pancreatic Cancer in adults, and covers the management of both resectable/ borderline resectable and unresectable pancreatic cancer.

The guideline for example makes recommendations on the use of fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/CT (FDG-PET/CT) scan in the diagnosis and staging (which is the formal description of the size of a cancer and how far it has grown) of pancreatic cancer. Based on newly published evidence these FDG-PET/CT recommendations provide guidance that can advise  a change in current clinical practice which can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment. Other recommendations include guidance on psychological support, service delivery, pain management, nutritional support and surgical options.

"Pancreatic cancer in adults: diagnosis and management" [NG85] is available on the NICE website from Wednesday 7 February 2018.


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