News archive - June 2009
24 June 2009
Prostate cancer screening review statement
On 18 March 2009, the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) was asked by Ministers to review its existing advice not to routinely screen for prostate cancer, following the publication of the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer.
The UK NSC formally reviewed this request at its meeting on 23 June 2009, noting the European Randomised Study and new data from The Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial in the United States.
At the meeting, it was agreed that the Sheffield School of Health And Related Research should be commissioned to produce an independent academic analysis of the new trial data. This is due to be completed in Spring 2010, and will be followed by a stakeholder consultation, after which the UK NSC’s updated advice will be formally published.
We are aware that this is a lengthy process, but the UK NSC is committed to ensuring a robust and rigorous approach to its decision-making, to ensure the best possible outcome for all patients, and a thorough review of all the evidence does take time.
In the meantime, the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes’ office is currently developing an updated information pack supporting the existing Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme to help men decide whether or not to have a PSA test as part of the Government’s Informed Choice Programme.
Speaking after the UK NSC meeting on 23 June 2009, UK NSC Programme Director Dr Anne Mackie stated:
“Prostate cancer is a significant health problem, and we are happy to look at new evidence. We have commissioned an independent academic analysis so that we can re-consider our existing advice on routine screening for prostate cancer in line with the new data from clinical trials.
“In the meantime, we welcome the publication of an updated information pack from the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes to help men who are concerned about prostate cancer to make informed decisions.”
Professor Julietta Patnick CBE, Director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes said:
“Currently, the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes provides information to patients and GPs about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer through the Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP).
“We have been redeveloping the PCRMP pack ahead of the UK NSC meeting and look forward to the results of the new analysis. The updated pack will be available shortly and all currently available research and information will have been considered. The pack will allow primary care practitioners to provide the latest advice to their patients, helping men to make an informed decision about whether or not to have a PSA test.
“In the meantime, men should speak to their GP if they have any concerns. Any man over the age of 50 who, after careful consideration of the implications, requests a PSA test should be given one.”
15 June 2009
Updated UK NSC terms of reference and appraisal criteria
The UK NSC remit and terms of reference has been changed slightly (see http://www.screening.nhs.uk/about). The criteria for appraising the viability, effectiveness and appropriateness of a screening programme have also been updated (see http://www.screening.nhs.uk/criteria).