Medical Innovation Bill backed by Leicester expert passes first Parliamentary hurdle

Posted by pt91 at Jun 16, 2014 11:19 AM |
A bill backed by University of Leicester cancer expert Professor Dean Fennell has passed its first stage through Parliament

A bill backed by Leicester cancer expert Professor Dean Fennell which aims to give doctors more freedom in using new treatment for patients with rare conditions has passed its first stage in Parliament.

Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill – which aims to provide legal protection for doctors using experimental treatments for patients – has passed its first hearing in Parliament, and will proceed to a second reading in the House of Lords.

The bill has been backed by Professor Dean Fennell, of our Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine. Earlier this year, Professor Fennell was invited to speak at an event held at Parliament which aimed to raise support for the bill.

Professor Fennell spoke about his own important research on mesothelioma – a form of cancer closely linked to exposure to asbestos.

Even though the UK issued a ban on asbestos in 1985, the number of deaths caused by the disease each year continues to grow.

Numbers of patients in the UK have grown from 153 in 1968 to 2,321 in 2009 – and the UK has the highest incidence in the world.

This number is set to continue to rise sharply over the next 20 years, with a peak coming in 2020.

Professor Fennell is leading a number of clinical trials which aim to find new and innovative ways of tackling and treating the disease – including the COMMAND (Control of Mesothelioma with MAiNtenance Defactinib) study and Meso2 .

Both of these trials are supported by Cancer Research UK, and Professor Fennell is the Chief Investigator for both trials.

He has said that the Medical Innovation Bill would allow doctors greater freedom in using new treatments for patients with rare conditions such as mesothelioma.