On 9 September, The Health Policy Partnership (HPP) was pleased to host a webinar to launch the UK situation analysis report and policy action blueprint. These documents outline the strategic challenges to integrating radioligand therapy in the UK and suggest concrete policy actions required to overcome these barriers. The event was moderated by HPP Managing Director Dr Suzanne Wait and featured an esteemed group of multidisciplinary experts from the UK.
Dr Wait opened the discussion and introduced the first speaker: Dr John Buscombe (Barts Health NHS Trust and the British Nuclear Medicine Society). He gave a presentation defining what radioligand therapy is and why readiness for the therapy is important. This was followed by a pre-recorded session from Nikie Jervis (Neuroendocrine Cancer UK), who discussed the impact radioligand therapy can have on people with neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs). Ms Jervis outlined how clear information and referral pathways can improve the integration of radioligand therapy for NENs and other types of cancer in the future. Lucy Morgan (HPP) then went on to present the key findings from the UK situation analysis report and the complementary asks from the policy action blueprint.
Considering cancer care more widely, Dr Martin Rolles (South West Wales Cancer Centre and Wales Cancer Network) spoke on why it can be so difficult to sustainably integrate new therapies, such as radioligand therapy, into the NHS. Dr Rolles’ presentation was followed by a pre-recorded message from Tim Farron MP, a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy, who highlighted the lessons we can learn from initiatives to improve national recognition of radiotherapy. As radioligand therapy may fall within radiotherapy delivery systems, these lessons are especially pertinent. The final speaker was Karen Stalbow from Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK), who provided a brief but important presentation on how PCUK is working with other organisations to ensure that innovative therapies, such as radioligand therapy, are equitably and appropriately accessible for people with cancer.
Following the presentations, Dr Buscombe, Dr Rolles and Ms Stalbow took part in a panel discussion and Q&A session on how the UK can become ready for potential future uses of radioligand therapy. The panellists highlighted the importance of having leadership for radioligand therapy; clear but flexible models of care and referral pathways; and, above all, person-centred care.
Although progress is steadily being made in improving the integration of currently licensed radioligand therapy and readiness for potential future uses of the therapy, more can be still done. As Dr Rolles acknowledged:
‘Despite all of the hurdles, it’s important to note that rates of development for innovative cancer treatments in recent years have been massive.’
Many thanks to all of the experts for their contributions and, most importantly, for their efforts in ensuring that people with cancer get access to the care that they need. We would also like to thank Dr Wait for chairing the session, the HPP team who worked behind the scenes, and all of the attendees for joining us in discussing the importance of health system readiness for innovative therapies, such as radioligand therapy.
Register for our next event, ‘Fostering system readiness in cancer care’, which will take place on Tuesday, 21 September at 14:00–15:30 CEST: https://hpolicy.co/readiness-webinar
Fill out this form if you are interested in hearing more about future events and updates from this project: https://hpolicy.co/RLTeventSurvey