8 August 2022
I am excited to announce the establishment of the UK Molecular Radiotherapy Consortium!
Why do we need a UK Molecular Radiotherapy Consortium?
Molecular radiotherapy (MRT), sometimes referred to as radioligand therapy, is expected to have an increasingly important role in the evolving oncology landscape. Where appropriate, prompt and effective delivery of MRT is dependent on the alignment of multiple factors, including: multidisciplinary patient management; having a sufficient, highly trained and specialised workforce who understand and adhere to appropriate ionising radiation regulations; and infrastructure to support safe and effective delivery and disposal of the relevant diagnostic and therapeutic radioisotopes used.
We need to plan ahead to successfully integrate both current and new MRT agents into clinical care in the UK, so we are ready for the anticipated increase in demand. In the UK, there is not equitable access to MRT services. This has been reinforced in several documents, including: Review of molecular radiotherapy services in the UK, Health system readiness for radioligand therapy in the UK and a proposal to set up radiotherapy networks in England.
These documents highlight the need for a cohesive voice to push for change to ensure MRT is promptly and readily available to people who may benefit from it. Inspired by these documents, and the success of the Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR) UK Consortium, I felt the necessity to initiate discussions about the conception of the UK MRT Consortium in the hope of bringing together national experts from different professional organisations and patient advocacy groups across the UK, to galvanise true and necessary change to the UK’s limited MRT framework.
What is the Consortium’s aim?
The UK MRT Consortium is an alliance of clinicians and patient advocates formed to bring about change. The overarching aim of the Consortium is:
‘To support equitable patient access to and safe delivery of evidence-based theranostic MRT across the UK and provide a multidisciplinary forum for all relevant stakeholders engaged in MRT to advance research, knowledge and policy engagement on MRT across the UK.’
The inauguration of the UK MRT Consortium marks a milestone for nuclear medicine provision in the UK. We hope that its establishment will serve as a promise to people with cancer, healthcare professionals and governing bodies that a comprehensive MRT service can be established in the UK.
Who is involved in the Consortium?
Interest and support for the Consortium has come from individuals affiliated with a number of Operational Delivery Networks as well as organisations, such as the British Nuclear Medicine Society, the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, Neuroendocrine Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer UK and Tackle Prostate Cancer. The Royal College of Radiologists is developing a memorandum of understanding that would enable the MRT Consortium to be an affiliated body.
In the coming months, we will be mapping out the ideal structure of the Consortium and solidifying the first activities that it will undertake.
Darren Leaning, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesborough & member of the UK MRT Consortium
The UK MRT Consortium is an independent group of clinicians and patient advocates affiliated with The Royal College of Radiologists. Secretariat is provided by The Health Policy Partnership and funded by Advanced Accelerator Applications, a Novartis Company.