Women to be offered personalised cancer care in hi-tech first for the region

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WOMEN suffering from cancer will be given state-of-the-art personalised treatment based on the unique characteristics of their tumours in a programme in Yorkshire being trialled for the first time on the NHS in England.

The initiative for around 120 patients with ovarian and rare gynaecological cancers will give access to comprehensive tumour profiling.

This gives doctors vital information about key features of an individual’s cancer which can lead to decisions to change treatments to make them more effective.

The programme is a joint venture between leading biosciences firm Caris Life Sciences, whose technology is currently only available privately, and the NHS regional innovation fund, to assess how it could be integrated into the NHS.

It will be available to suitable patients at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Airedale General Hospital.

Experts from the firm said its technology measures patients’ tumour biomarkers, which are changes to proteins, genes and other important features.

Evidence suggests it consistently identifies biomarkers linked to specific treatments in more than 90 per cent of patients.

Doctors change their treatment in 80 per cent of cases based on the information. In some cases, drugs are selected which might not have normally been considered for the cancer.

Ian Walker, vice president at Caris Life Sciences, said: “This pilot will help us to understand how widespread adoption would affect the NHS and patient outcomes.”

Around 7,100 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the UK and it claims more than 4,200 lives.