Updated clinical guidelines published by the European Association of Urologists.
The European Association of Urology (EAU) has announced the latest update to its Clinical Guidelines on Kidney Cancer. In this latest version, the EAU has added further references, which in some cases have led to changes in their recommendations. The EAU lists eighteen modified recommendations in its summary of the changes.
The EAU guidelines have an important impact on kidney cancer diagnosis, treatment and care in the UK. However, in England and Wales, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for producing clinical guidelines for the NHS, as well as recommendations on the use (or not) of individual drugs, and surgical and diagnostic techniques which are mandatory*.
The need for a NICE guideline
Unlike the EAU clinical guidelines, NICE recommendations also take cost effectiveness into consideration. In some cases, this can mean NICE recommendations, which health professionals should follow, are different from those in European guidelines.
Kidney Cancer UK is working on resolving this situation, supported by a number of Royal Colleges and professional bodies. Through our work on The Kidney Cancer UK Accord (read our 2020 Consensus Statement here) which is about to come to fruition, we are proposing the development of a NICE guideline and quality standard on kidney cancer for the NHS in England and Wales. This will make it easier for health professionals to diagnose and treat kidney cancer using the latest techniques and medicines that have been recommended for the NHS.
*Scotland has developed separate kidney cancer indicators against which diagnosis and treatment standard are measured.
The main changes in the EAU guidelines are:
- More targeted approach to biopsy testing of kidney cysts that will reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies
- Enhanced measures to identify hereditary kidney cancer, including referring people who have hereditary factors to a specialist centre
- Additional recommendations for the treatment of metastatic clear cell kidney cancer with immunotherapy.