More than 100 MPs have backed calls for urgent action to give equal access to the most effective chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer after a survey alleged most health authorities are rationing the treatment.
The survey found that 48 out of 60 HAs surveyed were not committed to providing the combination treatment recommended by the Joint Council of Clinical Oncology and endorsed by the Department of Health's standing medical advisory committee.
JCCO chair Mike Cullen said it was important that its guidelines were used by HAs.
The survey was conducted by the charity CancerBACUP . Chief executive Jean Mossman said: 'The credibility of the government's policy for cancer care will be seriously undermined if the interpretation of clinical data is confused by intervening financial considerations.'
An early day motion calling for an urgent government review of the latest evidence on the treatment of ovarian cancer had been signed by 112 MPs last week.
Improving Quality in Cancer Care: the current role of paclitaxel in the first-line chemotherapy of ovarian cancer. Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, London, NW1 4LE.£5.50.
Living with Ovarian Cancer. CancerBACUP, 3 Bath Place, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3JR. Enclose an A4 stamped addressed envelope with 49p postage.