Patient data was used to measure the benefits of a new treatment for lung cancer

What happened?

The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) analysed patient data to understand how well a new lung cancer treatment is working. Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) was introduced in 2013 to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and this was the first time the treatment has been studied in depth across England. By analysing patient data NCRAS found that the risk of death was lower for patients with stage 1 NSCLC treated with SABR compared to fractionated radiotherapy.  This research adds to the evidence that SABR has a survival benefit compared to fractionated radical radiotherapy and supports the need for patients to have better access to SABR across the country.

Why was this work needed?

England and the UK have lower rates of lung cancer survival compared to other countries around the world. It is important to understand how well treatments are working to make sure that everyone can have access to the most effective treatment. Survival rates from NSCLC could improve if more patients were treated with SABR.

What are the benefits?

Patient data has shown that SABR lowers the risk of death for patients with NSCLC compared to fractionated radiotherapy. SABR treatment gives a higher dose of radiation that is more precise which means that patients do not need to visit the hospital as much. SABR treatment could be offered to more people, such as older, frailer patients or those with other health conditions who are not able to have surgery. This could help save lives in England and the UK by offering an option to patients who may otherwise go untreated.

What type of data was involved?

NCRAS used patient data from the Radiotherapy Dataset (RTDS), held and maintained by NCRAS.

What was the legal basis for accessing this data?

NCRAS has legal permission to collect patient-level data and use it for research to protect the health of the population. This permission is granted under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006.

Who carries out this work?

The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) in Public Health England.

Where can I go for more information?

Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy Versus Radical Radiotherapy: Comparing Real-World Outcomes in Stage 1 Lung Cancer

Blog – Patient data is being used to compare treatments for lung cancer and to learn more about brain tumours in England

This work uses data that has been provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support. The data are collated, maintained and quality assured by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, which is part of Public Health England (PHE).