August 2016 - NICE is updating this guidance (see the in development page for information). The NHS should continue to follow the recommendations in this guidance until the update is complete.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on IRE for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Irreversible electroporation is a process that uses electrical pulses to kill cancer cells. It is applied directly to a pancreatic cancer tumour through special needles. The main difference between this procedure and thermal techniques for destroying tumours is that it does not produce extreme heat or cold. This means that it may cause less damage to healthy surrounding tissues than some other procedures.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.