Cancer drug call stepped up

Eric Ollerenshaw MP.
Eric Ollerenshaw MP.

Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw stepped up his campaign for improved treatment and earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday.

Mr Ollerenshaw, whose partner of 35 years died from the disease, spoke in Parliament in a bid to apply further pressure for the approval of life-extending drug Abraxane.

The Cancer Drugs Fund measures whether to recommend a new drug based partly on a measurement of the state of someone’s health and how long they are likely to live.

But Mr Ollerenshaw said with the life expectancy of pancreatic cancer patients averaging less than six months from diagnosis, the average two months’ additional life expectancy provided by Abraxane may be deemed insufficient as it would not register on the fund’s Quality Adjusted Life Years system.

He explained: “Abraxane provides a real chance for pancreatic cancer patient to fulfil, in the short space of time most are given after diagnosis, some of the many things we take for granted, whether extra time with their family and friends or to simply see out the remainder of their lives with dignity.

“I hope the Cancer Drugs Fund approves the use of Abraxane more widely.”