- Save the Children launch website designed with CORU's help
- Attempts at surgical removal are of no benefit to asbestos cancer sufferers finds trial led by CORU's Tom Treasure
- CORU's work shows effects of selective citation on surgical practice
- Pandemic flu countermeasure work published in Vaccine
- Editorial praises CORU's simple risk stratification model
- Tom Treasure's talk is ranked among top three presentations
- The Ekjut trial in India is selected as Trial of the Year!
- Christos Vasilakis gives keynote lecture at Young OR 17 conference
- CORU informs national policy on pandemic flu
- CORU work examines the foundations of triage
- Christina Pagel gives invited talk at RCM conference
- Martin Utley gives invited talk at the MASHNET workshop
- Making sense of statistics
- UCL helps engineer to heal his own heart
- Christina Pagel has paper published in The Lancet
- Martin Utley promoted to professor
- Professor Tom Treasure attends NICE International conference
- Citation for Steve Gallivan
- NCEPOD report highlights concerns over chemotherapy
- CORU 25 year celebration
- Marfan aortic aneurysm: Golesworthy wins Healthcare Award
- CORU projections of skilled birth attendance rates in world's poorest regions published
- CORU's Skilled Birth Attendance paper is a BMC Highly Accessed paper!
- CORU's visual outcome monitoring tool (VLAD) goes global!
- Number of people living with cancer set to increase significantly
- CORU article highlights challenges in implementing modelling toolkits
- Health financing website receives positive feedback!
- Is surgery to remove secondary cancer always a good thing?
- Sonya Crowe awarded Improvement Science Fellowship by the Health Foundation!
- CORU work helps child heart teams get clearer picture of their results
- CORU's work with the Department of Health's health protection team continues
- UCL Partners successful in bid to host a new £9 million CLAHRC!
- Funding bid to understand complications following children's heart surgery successful!
- Editorial published in Heart discussing the benefits and risks of monitoring mortality
- Health research partnership launches to tackle major health challenges
- CORU's Tom Treasure discusses colorectal cancer in the BMJ
NCEPOD report highlights concerns over chemotherapy
19 May 2011
A report published by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) on 13 November 2008 has raised concerns about the use of cancer therapy to treat patients close to the end of life. In a study of more than 600 cancer patients who died within 30 days of receiving chemotherapy, the treatment was found to have probably caused or hastened death in 27% of cases.
The report, titled ‘For better, for worse?’, examines the quality of care provided for this selected group of patients (estimated at 2% of those receiving chemotherapy). Clinical practice and hospital facilities are reviewed and recommendations made on how current cancer services could be improved. Among its contributors were Dr Martin Utley and Professor Steve Gallivan of CORU (Clinical Operational Research Unit), who act as Scientific Advisors to NCEPOD.
Although 35% of the study’s patients who died within 30 days of receiving chemotherapy were found to have been given good care, the report’s co-author Mr Mark Lansdown, Surgical Oncologist at the Leeds Teaching Hospital, stated that NCEPOD advisors believed that more than 1 in 4 of the patients in the study had died due to contributory factors from the treatment. The majority of the patients involved in the study were receiving the treatment with the aim to “alleviate symptoms of cancer with the minimum of side-effects”, but 14% of the subjects were patients for whom the treatment was intended to cure them of their cancer. According to Mr Lansdown, 43% of patients in all suffered significant treatment-related toxicity.
NCEPOD advisors also found that the decision to treat with
chemotherapy was inappropriate in 19% of cases, and raised questions
about whether cancer patients are given enough information about
chemotherapy to allow them to give informed consent to treatment.
Despite these findings, Professor Tom Treasure, Chair of NCEPOD and an Honorary Professor at CORU, said that cancer treatment in the UK today is enormously successful: “Chemotherapy has transformed the outlook for many cancer patients. However, our study asked difficult questions and found some unpalatable answers about decisions made in the weeks before [the patients] died. These merit careful consideration and we have made recommendations for how things could be improved upon.”
For further please see the original UCL news story.