Info for those trying to access Cyberknife treatment

I learned something interesting today that may help those of you trying to persuade your onc to put you forward for Cyberknife treatment.

I had my first check up with my onc since my Cyberknife treatment in March. She told me that since my case, she together with my rads onc, have got very interested in Cyberknife and have decided to put many more patients forward. She said the paperwork they have to do for either insurance companies or PCT funding committees is very off-putting, especially for oncs that aren’t very clued up about the treatment and the research behind it. Many will just not bother. But she’s found that the facility she uses is willing to do this paperwork for them - given the basic patient details they will pull together all the relevant research putting the best possible gloss on it and making it into a proposal, so the onc really only has to put their name to it. This is the Harley Street Clinic, but I suspect other Cyberknife centres may be willing to do the same - they all want to see their equipment being used.

So if you have a reluctant onc - maybe this will help. I hope so.

finty

Thanks for sharing this Flinty - good to know that Cyberknife use is having a ripple effect through the medical profession .

Finty I don’t think the funding issue is going to be a problem for very much longer. I spoke to one of Accuray’s PR people at the meeting in Birmingham, and he said the Government have just formally accepted the National Radiotherapy Implementation Group Report recommendations (the report came out at the beginning of June). As the Health Minister, told Parliament in January that the NRIG report would form the basis of NICE evaluation (and the Chief Medical Officer has already asked NICE to do a fast track report of Cyberknife), it looks like things are now moving.
Obviously the recommendations don’t go as far as we would like, but by recommending the funding of Cyberknife treatment within a clinical trial setting, we will now see an upserge of clinical trials, and hopefully the evidence base will grow fairly quickly.
I think you’re absolutely right though that some of the reluctance to refer patients comes from the bureaucracy involved. The problem is that all these Commissioning Groups and PCT’s have developed their own policies. I found it hard enough just ploughing through the SECSCG funding policy document, so trying to dicover what 150 PCT’s do or don’t fund must be almost impossible.
What we need to do now is to raise awareness, and keep up pressure (hopefully you will have seen my update on the meeting I attended in Birmingham which was very positive).

That’s good to hear. I do hope they tackle the issue of the bureaucracy though, as it seems overwhelming for some.