The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on interstitial laser therapy for breast cancer.The guidance was considered for reassessment in January 2011 and it was concluded that NICE will not be updating this guidance at this stage. However, if you believe there is new evidence which should warrant a review of our guidance, please contact us via the email address below.
Standard treatments for small breast cancers include lumpectomy or mastectomy (without preceding laser therapy), and minimally invasive techniques such as radiofrequency ablation or cryotherapy.
Interstitial laser therapy is a minimally invasive technique for treating small breast cancers. After locating the tumour using stereotactic techniques or ultrasound, laser energy is delivered into the tumour via a needle probe. This causes the tumour to shrink. A surgeon may then remove the tumour, although sometimes surgery is not necessary.
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.