Prostate cancer patients in Wales set to benefit from earlier access to vital form of chemotherapy

Docetaxel chemotherapy will now be made available sooner alongside hormone therapy

Prostate cancer patients are set to get earlier access to a vital form of chemotherapy

Men in Wales newly diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer will now be offered earlier access to a vital form of chemotherapy, it has been revealed.

Prostate Cancer UK has confirmed that docetaxel chemotherapy will now be made available sooner alongside hormone therapy to eligible patients.

The charity claims combining these treatments could offer these men the chance of an extra 15 months of life on average.

A trial demonstrated the benefits of the treatment

Men in Wales newly diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer will now be offered earlier access to a vital form of chemotherapy, it has been revealed.

Prostate Cancer UK has confirmed that docetaxel chemotherapy will now be made available sooner alongside hormone therapy to eligible patients.

The charity claims combining these treatments could offer these men the chance of an extra 15 months of life on average.

'This is fantastic news for patients'

The use of this treatment has now been approved via the ‘One Wales’ process, and the All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre (AWTTC) has issued the interim commissioning advice of this treatment to all relevant health bodies across Wales. This advice will be reviewed every 12 months.

Prostate Cancer UK says it will be contacting health boards to ensure that they are aware of the updated advice and that this treatment is made available for men in Wales who may benefit as soon as possible.

Heather Blake, director of support and influencing at Prostate Cancer UK said: “This is fantastic news for men in Wales who are diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

“Now they will have the same opportunity for invaluable extra quality time with loved ones as those in England and Scotland.

“We believe the mounting pressure on commissioning bodies over recent weeks as a result of our campaigning work had a significant impact on the speed at which the new commissioning advice was pushed through.

“It demonstrated just how important this treatment is to men with prostate cancer across the country. It is now critical that local health boards ensure they are following the updated advice to offer earlier docetaxel to men who may benefit, so that there is no further delay to this treatment directly reaching men in the clinic.”

Advice is reviewed every 12 months

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We believe patients should receive a comprehensive package of the best cost-effective, evidence-based NHS treatment and care at all times to meet their clinical needs.

“Following consideration of the clinical evidence through the ‘One Wales’ Interim Commissioning Process, it has been decided that docetaxel, in combination with androgen deprivation therapy, can be made available for the treatment of men with hormone-naive metastatic prostate cancer.

“This advice will be reviewed after 12 months. Health boards are planning for the introduction of this treatment at the earliest opportunity.”

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