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Changing how people live with lymphoma

Published on: 4 January 2024

A reflection on our policy work over the past year, and our plans for 2024 when representing the issues faced by people affected by lymphoma.

Policy and influence

As we look back on 2023, I am delighted to share a number of updates as we look forward to advocating for better treatment and care for lymphoma in 2024.

During 2023 we inputted into 14 Health Technology Assessments for both NICE and SMC. Our work in this is crucial to provide a patient organisation perspective on the added benefit and value of potential upcoming new medicines available to lymphoma patients.

Our work with NATCAN (National Cancer Audit) and the Royal College of Surgeons on the first Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma audit has continued to progress over the last few months. We have reached out to our lymphoma community for patient representatives to get involved with the first patient involvement panel meeting due to take place in January. The audit will use national clinical data to assess the quality of services and care provided to patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in England and Wales. By giving a better understanding of how patients are being looked after, it will help NHS hospitals to improve the care they provide.

Our work as part of national alliances, with Cancer52, One Cancer Voice and the Blood Cancer Alliance have helped us to delve into topics such as cancer inequalities, improving diagnoses, access to medicines and how we might work together to address common challenges.

We aim to provide support and information for a broad range of partnerships, including with research projects being undertaken by the clinical community, so that we provide insights from a lymphoma-perspective wherever we can.

Other developments which we are monitoring closely include:

  • The Galleri Trial - a multi-cancer detection blood test that is being trialled by the NHS in the UK and could significantly improve diagnosis of lymphoma.
  • The non-specific symptoms pathway (NSS) which is a new NHS England referral pathway to ensure that patients who have general or vague symptoms related to cancer are diagnosed effectively.

We kick off the year in January as we will hold our quarterly Medical Advisory Panel meeting in person in London. We are very excited to meet face to face with a range of clinical experts including haematologists, oncologists and clinical nurse specialists, to talk about developments in lymphoma treatment and care.

Helena Evans, Policy and Public Affairs Advisor at Lymphoma Action