NICE has published new quality standards for the management of oesophago-gastric cancer.
The document states that healthcare professionals should ensure that adults with oesophago-gastric cancer have access to a clinical nurse specialist who can provide support and consistent information at all stages of the treatment pathway.
Treatment should be reviewed by a multidisciplinary team that includes an oncologist and a specialist radiologist who both have an interest in oesophago-gastric cancer.
18‑fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (F‑18 FDG PET‑CT) must be requested for adults with oesophageal or gastro-oesophageal junctional tumours (except T1a tumours) for whom radical treatment is suitable. Results of the F‑18 FDG PET‑CT should be reported within one week of the decision to scan.
Specialist dietetic support should be provided to patients, either by a dietician or a clinical nurse specialist. Nutritional advice should be provided before and after radical treatment, and should be tailored to individual needs, depending on the stage of disease and its effects.
“Quality standards are intended to drive up the quality of care, and so achievement levels of 100% should be aspired to (or 0% if the quality statement states that something should not be done),” according to NICE.
“However, this may not always be appropriate in practice. Taking account of safety, shared decision-making, choice and professional judgement, desired levels of achievement should be defined locally,” it advises.