The Cancer Vanguard has developed a simulation modelling toolkit that can support any NHS organisation in England in the delivery of out-of-hospital denosumab (XGEVA).

UCLH Cancer Collaborative led the project for the Cancer Vanguard with invaluable input from partners Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation and RM Partners, as well as from local commissioning leads.

In partnership with the pharmaceutical company Amgen, a simulation modelling tool has been developed that will allow health commissioners and Trusts to appreciate the financial benefits and challenges of delivering agents such as denosumab (XGEVA) in a variety of community settings. Denosumab is a medication used to help prevent serious bone problems in patients with bone metastases from breast cancer. It is commonly given to patients in chemotherapy units in hospitals even when patients have completed chemotherapy treatment.

Health organisations can use the model to test out a range of delivery methods for denosumab that take into account patient experience and cost implications. It is available to all healthcare professionals with an NHS email account.

Additionally, a supplementary options appraisal document will enable organisations to understand the non-financial barriers and facilitators to implementation of out-of-hospital treatment.

Out-of-hospital delivery can benefit patients by enabling the choice to receive care closer to their homes, potentially improving their overall experience of treatment. Treatment closer to home also benefits Trusts by relieving pressure on oncology services and freeing up staff and resources.

The modelling toolkit is the result of a collaboration that began with the launch of the Pharma Challenge, an innovative process by which commercial companies were invited to ‘pitch’ project ideas to improve the provision of cancer medicines, to be developed jointly with the Cancer Vanguard. Amgen was one of five companies selected to develop joint projects.

Dr Robert Urquhart, Head of Pharmacy and Divisional Clinical Director at University College London Hospitals, said: ‘Throughout this process, we have found that being able to overcome some of the system-wide barriers to implementing new models of care is crucial to our success in improving the delivery of cancer medicines, such as denosumab, to patients.

‘The denosumab model, developed between UCLH Cancer Collaborative and Amgen, used input from an array of professionals directly involved in patient care both in London and Greater Manchester, and other national examples. The model will facilitate others in developing their own ways of delivering cancer medicines closer to home, for patients that wish to participate.’

Read more about the Pharma Challenge here.