Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency is found in 3 to 6% of the population and has been associated with severe toxicity (diarrhoea, neutropenia, mucositis) in patients receiving the fluoropyrimidine group of cytotoxic chemotherapy agents (5-fluorouracil, capecitabine and tegafur). These agents form the basis of both adjuvant and palliative treatments in colorectal, oesophago-gastric, breast and head and neck cancers. There is increasing use of the same group of drugs in pancreatic cancer and hepato-biliary malignancies. Treatment with fluoropyrimidines is generally well tolerated and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the usage of capecitabine, a well-established oral agent which offers many advantages over IV treatment in the current climate. Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase inactivates 80-90% of 5FU and associated agents and a deficiency results in these severe toxicities. Earlier this year the European Medicines Agency recommended patients should be tested for DPD deficiency before commencing cancer treatment with fluorouracil and with the related medicines, capecitabine and tegafur.
The research study is titled “National Review of Risk Assessment and Preparation Handling Requirements for Monoclonal Antibody Products”. This project will form part of a Master of Science dissertation conducted by a Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Assurance student at the University of Manchester, School of Health Sciences.
Macmillan Cancer Support is working with Health Education England to develop personalised care, rehabilitation and rehabilitation learning and development offers for the allied health and wider workforce within the P(rehabilitation) R (rehabilitation) osPer (personalised care) project.
This project commenced in March 2020 and will be completed in the Autumn 2021.
The latest National; Cancer Patient Experience Survey, covering care which took place during April, May and June 2019 in England, was published last week. This annual survey is an important and rich source of data covering patient pathways from diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship. The survey is broken down by tumour site and covers care delivered in primary and secondary care and in the community. In general terms the survey is very useful for oncology nurses, in that it is designed to monitor national progress on cancer care, to drive local quality improvements, to assist commissioners and providers of cancer care and to inform the work of the various charities and stakeholder groups supporting cancer patients. 111,366 people with a cancer diagnosis who had received care during the time period were contacted, 67,858 people responded to the survey, yielding a response rate of 61%. These patients were drawn from 143 participating NHS Trusts.
UKONS are holding a virtual educational event hosted by The Royal Marsden
NHS Foundation Trust, offered to all young cancer nurses (YCNs). The aim is to build a network of support and provide free educational events to guide early career nurses who may want to pursue a career in cancer nursing. If you are a cancer nurse who is either under the age of 35 or within the first 5 years of your career working in cancer care please consider joining us virtually on Thursday 9th September 2020 between 4-6pm.
Macmillan would like to try and understand the impact of COVID-19 on health care professionals. This survey will help them prioritise how to help going forwards. The responses will inform their priorities for influencing policy makers alongside the views of people affected by cancer and help them understand what is needed now. It will also help to determine how Macmillan can support professionals and services in the future. The survey responses are anonymous.
In a report published last week the Teenage Cancer Trrust charity called on the Government to provide essential specialist services for young people with cancer. The report indicates that 53% of young people with cancer have struggled to access psychological support during the Coronavirus pandemic, where isolation and anxiety are magnified.
This is a national resource, signposting care and support services for anyone living with cancer in the UK – both patients and families and carers. They have everything from well- known services such as Macmillan and Maggie’s Centres, support embedded within NHS, community organisations and local charities, as well as small businesses and private practices offering care and support to anyone affected by cancer during and beyond treatment.
Don't miss out on the peer-reviewed and evidence-based Oncology Supplement, brought to you by British Journal of Nursing.
In May’s BJN Oncology Supplement T. Marler-Hausen and colleagues from UCLH Macmillan Cancer Centre highlight sources of environmental contamination with hazardous drugs.
On 8th June guidance was published by the Royal College of Radiologists which covers both the routine COVID-19 swabbing of asymptomatic patients attending for non-surgical oncology and staff working in these environments. UKONS were consulted and represented in the production of this guidance and regard it as best practice.
The rationale for testing both symptomatic patients and the staff working in these environments is to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired COVID-19 cross-infection, reduce the spread of the virus to other areas, within and outside of the hospital, reduce the chance of harm to patients who may be immunosuppressed and reduce the potential delays to patients as a result of contracting COVID-19 infection. The adoption of the guidance is dependent upon the local conditions, such as the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in the local community and the availability of resources.
This is the latest from Update, a monthly round-up of news relevant to palliative care in Scotland, brought to you by the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care. This is the fourth Covid-19 themed edition, in which they highlight key policy, guidance, resources and research sources.
Are you a UK NHS employee working within an oncology hospital department?
Would you like to contribute to some important research exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the oncology workforce?
To access the survey all you need to do it follow the link here: COVID-NOW SURVEY
We have developed an online questionnaire for people to share their experiences of end-of-
life care provision during the COVID-19 crisis, to help plan for and manage situations like this
in the future. We would like to hear from those who have experienced the death of a relative
or friend, and any health and social care professionals who cared for a patient who died during
the COVID-19 crisis. The person who died may or may not have been infected with COVID-19.
The information provided will help to inform service delivery for patients in the final stages
of their life in the future, during periods of heightened pressure on healthcare services. Please
read the participant information sheet to find out more, which can be accessed via the survey
As many UKONS members know, Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) is the only cancer support charity helping boost the physical and emotional wellbeing of people undergoing cancer treatment. For over 25 years these free confidence boosting Workshops have been held across the UK for women, young adults and men undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. The sessions provide a chance to meet others in a similar situation, as well as learning useful skills and techniques to manage some of the side-effects of cancer treatment.
As workshops are currently postponed due to Covid19 the charity has responded very swiftly and created, trialled and launched Virtual Workshops
In light of COVID-19 there have been mitigation strategies implemented either nationally or within local hospitals in relation to the management of patients that are high risk such as those receiving cancer chemotherapy. We developed a survey to capture the views of healthcare professionals currently delivering cancer care around these strategies. We believe it is essential to gain input from all professional groups involved in chemotherapy delivery to complete our survey to obtain a richer understanding of the changes to care.
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will host a weekly webinar series supporting the care for individuals with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The weekly series will feature an expert panel discussing pertinent topics and an opportunity for a question and answer time.
This is launching today, April 2 at 4 pm EST
The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) has made the difficult decision to postpone their ICCN2020 event scheduled for London 29 March - 1 April 2020. This will include the UKONS pre-conference event scheduled for the Royal Marsden on 29th March.
In 2019 the Government set a target to make England smoke-free by 2030. It now appears that the ambitious target is unlikely to be met until the Government tackles smoking in some of the most deprived communities in the country, including the provision of increased funding for smoking cessation services.
Over the last few weeks members may have noted that the emotional needs of people with cancer has made the national news headlines. In January, Macmillan Cancer Support reviewed the use of their support line and revealed that 2019 had seen 240,000 calls, a 7% increase in total calls.
Are you a nurse currently working in cancer or providing care to persons affected by cancer? Are you either under the age of 35 orwithin the first 5 years of working in cancer care? If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, or know anyone who would, please read on…
The eagerly awaited NHSE guidance on the streamlining of MDTs in England was published in January. This guidance has been made in recognition that the substantial pressures on the MDT system (increasing numbers of patients and shortages of specialist nurses, radiologists, pathologists and oncologists) has resulted in the current MDT approach of reviewing every single case as being unsustainable.
World Health Assembly has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. We are the people who devote their lives to caring for people across the world; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. Nurses are often, the first and only point of care in their communities.
The United Kingdom Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) is inviting applications for a research grant of up to £20,000. This funding has been allocated to support a preliminary research study to investigate the risk to nurses of occupational exposure to cytotoxic drugs using current best practices for safe handling.
The UKONS Board are delighted that our annual conference in Telford 22 – 23 November was such a success. The Board received very positive feedback at conference from delegates, speakers and exhibitors. Please follow the conference Tweets to find out more #UKONS2019.
With a career spanning more than 30 years, Mandy has worked to influence, challenge and improve outcomes and experiences for people living with cancer in London and the South East of England. Since qualifying as a nurse in 1984, she has gone on to have an impressive career in oncology, cancer nursing and research. From her early roles at Guy’s Hospital, Amanda’s drive to improve the quality of life of people with cancer and make sure people receive equal care has been outstanding.
UKONS were proud and delighted to attend the glittering and prestigious Nursing Times Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Wednesday 30 October. UKONS were shortlisted for the UKONS SACT Competency Passport that has been taken up across most of the UK.
NHSE has announced that all Trusts providing an Acute Oncology (AO) service will need to provide detailed figures on the functioning of this service. This will be collected via the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COS-D). COS-D has been the national standard database for reporting cancer in the NHS since 2013. The AO data collection items will form part of the new version of COS-D which will come into operation when Trusts upload their April to June 2020 (quarter1) figures from July 2020.
Once again, the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) joined the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) at their annual conference. This year the conference was based in the impressively sized ‘Fira’ Exhibition centre in Barcelona and was the 12th EONS conference to be held.
A UKONS -funded Cochrane review published in 2018 found no evidence of benefits from closed system drug-transfer devices (CSTD) when used for administration of SACT. Following this publication UKONS released a position statement indicating the uncertainty in the benefits of CSTD. The Cochrane review received a number of criticisms, some of which were from authors who have been previously funded by the manufacturers of closed system devices.
vAt the national Acute Oncology steering group in June 2019 there was an extensive discussion around the potential role of the pharmacist in further developing Acute Oncology services. This discussion was initiated by Meera Desai the Senior Oncology Pharmacist at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who has provided a discussion paper on how the role might be developed and fit with other roles within oncology and acute oncology services. As a result, this discussion paper was developed to capture the views of the multidisciplinary team, both within, and outside of, Acute Oncology.
Cancer Research UK is pleased to announce Rachel Taylor from University College Hospital London as the winner of the Cancer Research UK ‘Excellence in Cancer Research’ category of the 2019 RCNi Nurse Awards. The prestigious award is the only one in the UK to recognise and celebrate the work of cancer research nurses.
Earlier this week Macmillan Cancer Support released new guidance on the provision of prehabilitation for cancer patients. This follows up 2017’s review of evidence which concluded that prehabilitation should be integrated into routine cancer care. This new document outlines the principles of prehabilitation and offers advice and support on how this can be achieved in practice.
Theme: Innovation and Inspiration: Celebrating the Global Impact of Oncology Nurses
29 March to 01 April, 2020
International Conference on Cancer Nursing is the longest running international conference for our profession and offers a unique opportunity to meet with international nursing leaders from around the world. The conference is attended by practitioners, researchers, educators and leaders from national/regional cancer nursing societies, oncology institutions and other organizations representing cancer nurses around the world.
The national prostate cancer charity, Prostate Cancer UK, has produced a web resource highlighting the positive contribution Clinical Nurse Specialists make in caring for men with prostate cancer. The aim of the resource is to promote the role of the CNS in prostate cancer and to try and ensure that every man with the disease has access to a CNS who can provide him with specialist support.
A recent study has indicated that in seven high-income developed countries the incidence of colon cancer is increasing among younger people despite the overall rates remaining static or falling over the same period.
In the last few weeks an editorial in the BMJ has led to an interesting debate regarding when palliative care should be offered to patients with a cancer diagnosis, the level of integration it should have with oncology services and the attitude of the public and professionals associated with referrals to palliative care.
The British Oncology Pharmacy Association recently published the BOPA Standards for Reducing Risks Associated with Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration Systems (ePMA) for Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapies (SACT)..
The UKONS board recognises that Multi- Disciplinary Team (MDT) working is a valuable and important element of Cancer Care in the UK. We also recognise that the system is no longersustainable in its current format whereby all patients with a cancer diagnosis are ‘discussed’ initiallyand at various points in their treatment pathway, resulting in a treatment plan being formulated and approved.
We are looking for patients, cancer nurses and surgeons to participate in an international online survey. We are asking participants to help decide the most important outcomes to report in future surgical trials for gastric cancer.
A hugely positive study recently published in the British Medical Journal has indicated that a programme delivering the immunisation of 12-13-year-old girls has resulted in a dramatic reduction in cervical disease in vaccinated 20-year-old women found at screening.
Mary is a Nurse Consultant in Lymphoedema at the Royal Marsden. Last month she won the BJN ‘Oncology Nurse of the Year’ accolade. UKONS spoke to her a bout her introduction to cancer nursing, her interest in Lymphoedema and her feelings about oncology nursing in general.
The British Journal of Nursing Awards ceremony was held on 8th March 2019. A range of nursing professionals were awarded for their work in specialist fields. They were recognised for making outstanding contributions and for putting patient care at the heart of their roles, inspiring other colleagues and helping drive the profession forwards.
The UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) have developed a Systemic Anti- Cancer Therapy (SACT) Competency Passport Learning Outcomes Framework, which aligns with the UKONS SACT Competency Passport and provides further guidance for assessing practice competence with the aim of standardising SACT competence assessment across the UK.
To view the UKONS SACT Competency Learning Outcomes Framework, log on to the UKONS website. The document is filed within the SACT MIG resources.
A diagnosis of cancer and accompanying treatment can have a negative effect on sexual function. Many people with cancer find this a distressing and worrying feature of their illness which can reduce quality of life. It has been known for some years that patients...
As we move rapidly into October, Breast Cancer awareness month, a new book entitled ‘The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer: How to feel empowered and take control’ has been published which provides a guide for patients from the point of view of two doctors who have both been diagnosed with, and treated for, breast cancer.