NHS England commissions radiotherapy for men with low volume metastatic prostate cancer

19 Nov 2020

Men with prostate cancer that has spread to a small number of parts of their body can now receive prostate radiotherapy through the NHS in England. This decision was made following a recommendation from the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group based on evidence from the STAMPEDE trial.

In July 2020, the Clinical Priorities Action Group looked at the evidence on various treatments for a wide range of diseases. This included giving radiotherapy to men whose prostate cancer has spread to only a small number of parts of their body. They recommended this treatment should be the top priority out of the six specialised treatments they examined. Based on this recommendation, NHS England have decided to approve radiotherapy for this group of men.

This decision was based on evidence from the STAMPEDE trial, which found that for men with disease which had spread to just a small number of places within the body at the time of diagnosis, radiotherapy significantly improved how long men lived for. After 3 years, 81% of men with low metastatic burden in the radiotherapy group were still alive, compared to 73% of men in the standard treatment group. Radiotherapy also delayed the disease getting worse.

The Clinical Priorities Advisory Group makes recommendations to NHS England on which new specialised treatments the NHS should be routinely providing. They look at the evidence on the clinical benefits and costs from the treatment for a wide range of diseases, then rank these treatments in priority order. The group is made up of doctors, health experts and patient representatives.

STAMPEDE is the largest prostate cancer treatment trial ever, with more than 11,000 men taking part. STAMPEDE has already changed treatment for men with prostate cancer, with NICE guidelines recommending the chemotherapy drug docetaxel as upfront treatment for men whose prostate cancer has already spread at the time they are diagnosed.

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