13 January 2015

NICE grants seal of approval to guidelines on rare form of cancer

NICE has given its seal of approval to the process an independent group used to develop clinical guidelines on a rare form of eye cancer.

Funded by the charity Melanoma Focus, and produced by an independent guideline development group, the process behind new guidelines on uveal melanoma is the latest to be accredited by NICE.

Uveal melanoma is a very rare condition, but is also the most common type of melanoma that affects the eye. It occurs along the uveal tract, which affects the choroid, ciliary body and iris, and can lead to loss of sight or of the eye itself.

The condition is managed differently from other forms of melanoma, and until now there has been no guidance on how it should be treated.

Over the past 2 years, an independent guideline development group consisting of clinicians and patient representatives has met to review evidence on the condition and develop recommendations for practice.

NICE has now accredited this process after examining how it was used to develop the guideline. The Accreditation Mark the guideline now displays tells users that they can expect it to be a high quality source of information.

Dr Paul Nathan, Chair of the guideline development group and Consultant Medical Oncologist at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, said: “Uveal melanoma is a very rare condition which is managed differently from other melanomas. This is the first comprehensive guidance on this condition and we are delighted its process has achieved formal accreditation through the NICE Accreditation Programme.

“With this accreditation we now have an officially approved standard of care which will guide clinicians and, above all, help to improve the treatment of patients suffering from this disease”.

Professor Martin Underwood, Chair of the NICE Accreditation Advisory Committee, said: “I am delighted to congratulate the uveal melanoma guideline development group for this accreditation.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the group on their high level of patient involvement during guideline development.”

He added: “It is very pleasing for me to see a small specialist guideline producer such as the uveal melanoma guideline development group embrace the NICE Accreditation Programme; a programme that can help them ensure that the information they produce is as good as it can possibly be.”

Since 2009, NICE has accredited 61 guidance development processes on areas ranging from fertility to mental health and patient safety.

If you are a guidance producer and would like your process accredited, visit the NICE accreditation page for advice on how to apply, and tips and support on getting your organisation through the accreditation journey.