BIR calls for broadening of Cancer Drugs Fund

A recent “Letter to the editor” in the Sunday Times from BIR President Andrew Jones on behalf of the BIR called for broadening of the Cancer Drugs Fund to include funding for more innovative radiotherapy.

Read the full letter below

Download the full press release here

23 May 2014

Dear Sir

Give radiotherapy the cancer funds it needs

Your campaign to improve access to innovative radiotherapy is vital and could be addressed by broadening the £200m annual Cancer Drugs Fund.  Despite a highly effective £25m, one-off investment in 2012-13, supporting a growth in delivery of the most advanced forms of radiotherapy across England, there is no regular investment for radiotherapy equivalent to the Cancer Drugs Fund.

This stark contrast in funding for new developments is worthy of public debate to ensure innovative radiotherapy techniques continue to be exploited.

The King’s Fund 2011 report How to Improve Cancer Survival: Explaining England’s Relatively Poor Rates states: “It is more important to improve access to surgery and radiotherapy than access to cancer drugs…this suggests that the contribution of the Cancer Drugs Fund to improving overall outcomes will be very limited.  Nevertheless, the Cancer Drugs Fund continues to have strong political support and has been extended to 2016.

This fund should be increased by about £50m a year to provide improved access to innovative radiotherapy techniques and the effective training of the workforce.

This would produce a significant boost to the most cost-effective cancer treatment available for patients.


Professor Andrew Jones

President, The British Institute of Radiology

If you have any comments or feedback please email






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