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NEWS


NHS patient praises proton beam therapy treatment


Should new NICE guidance include


acupuncture? The British Acupuncture Council has said it is ‘extremely disappointed’ that updated guidance on the treatment of urinary incontinence does not include acupuncture.


The new guidance was published on 2 April 2019 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) alongside a set of decision aids to help women make informed decisions about surgical interventions.


One of the first patients in the UK to receive high-energy proton beam therapy has praised UK oncologists for embracing proton beam therapy and the transformative effects it has had on his treatment.


Ryan Scott, 23, from Cardigan in Wales,


underwent treatment for a brain tumour (grade 1 cranio pharyngioma) at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales in Newport, as part of NHS Wales proton beam therapy treatment pathway for adults.


Ryan Scott said: “I was very pleased when my consultant recommended proton beam therapy and told me that it was available close to home in South Wales. I was due to be treated with proton beam therapy over the course of eight weeks in the United States, a disruption I was not looking forward to. Happily, however, the agreement between NHS Wales and the Rutherford Cancer Centres was struck just in time for me to be treated a short drive from home.


“The process of undergoing proton beam therapy was much better than anticipated. There have been hardly any side effects and being able to sleep in my bed after a day’s treatment is a real plus.” Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, officially opened the Rutherford Cancer Centre. He said: “[This] was the first facility in the UK to offer proton beam therapy for cancer patients, and an excellent example of the development of new cancer therapies, here in Wales. It’s a perfect illustration of how we are working collaboratively to deliver technological innovations to improve treatment for patients.”


The centre is part of a nationwide network that provides state-of-the-art cancer services including imaging, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and high energy proton beam therapy.


It also recommends a series of non-surgical treatments including losing weight, eliminating caffeine, pelvic floor exercises, bladder training through behavioural therapy and anticholinergic medicines, but it fails to include acupuncture.


Head of research at the British Acupuncture Council, Mark Bovey, said: “At a time when the NHS is under so much pressure, health leaders should be exploring effective alternatives to conventional care. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating urinary incontinence, it is very safe and has high levels of patient satisfaction, so it would appear to provide a sensible alternative option for the NHS. “The British Acupuncture Council is extremely disappointed that NICE has failed to include acupuncture as a recommended treatment for urinary incontinence in its guidance, even though we alerted them to the research during the consultation period.”


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  


 


 


  


MAY 2019    WWW.CLINICALSERVICESJOURNAL.COM I 11


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