Through its approach to NHS England, the non-profit organisation Kidney Cancer UK was able to gain funding for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to create the first-ever clinical guidelines for the disease.
The organisation conducted an extensive study over a six-year period, closely collaborating with professionals in all facets of kidney cancer treatment through its Kidney Cancer UK Accord group. Using information from NHS Digital, the group—which consists of top kidney cancer physicians, oncologists, clinical nurse specialists, patients, and caregivers—commissioned a two-year service quality assessment of more than 18,000 kidney cancer patients. It is thought to be the biggest audit of kidney cancer ever done.
The findings showed substantial regional variance and reaffirmed the importance of early diagnosis and prompt initiation of treatment for kidney cancer.
According to the most recent results of Kidney Cancer UK’s patient survey, 30% of patients wait more than three months between receiving a diagnosis and starting treatment. The commission’s recommendations are intended to benefit this subset of patients.
In a statement to the Kidney Cancer UK Accord Group, Dr. Kate Fife, consultant clinical oncologist at Cambridge University Hospital, said an audit had shown that, among those whose tumour phase was known, over 21% were identified when tumours were usually not curable, and only 25% of these patients did survive for two years. 87% of patients were still living at two years if kidney cancer was discovered in its early stages, when it may still be treated. This emphasises how crucial early diagnosis is.
The analysis discovered significant differences in surgical and pharmaceutical therapy amongst the 21 cancer alliances, and much more so within various hospital trusts, according to Professor Grant Stewart, Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Cambridge. Similarly, between 40% and 70% of patients with metastatic kidney cancer got anti-cancer medications. Once implemented, these long-delayed NICE guidelines will have a positive effect on patients’ experiences throughout their journey and will eliminate these contradictions.
Geraldine Fox, a kidney cancer patient and participant in the Kidney Cancer UK Accord group, observed that Kidney cancer has long been a neglected cancer. All ten of the malignancies that are most common in the UK have guidelines that are periodically reviewed, with the exception of kidney cancer, which has received zero attention.