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depression and cancer

There is continual debate around which cancer drugs have the biggest improvement in QALYs and which are the best value for money. However, many cancer patients also suffer from major depression which has a huge impact on their lives, yet is frequently overlooked or ignored. Treating their depression would be a massive improvement in QALYs at a fraction of the cost of many drugs.

In a series of papers being published simultaneously across three Lancet journals researchers are reporting how common major depression is in people with different cancers, how frequently it is being overlooked, how best to treat it and what the impacts are for patients.

This briefing was held to discuss:

  • How many people with cancer are not being treated for their major depression?
  • How big an impact does treating their depression have?
  • Does treating the depression have an impact on survival from cancer?
  • Why are so many people being failed by current services?
  • What needs to be done in order to ensure people are given the treatment they need?
  • How much would this improve QALYs and what would it cost



Prof Michael Sharpe, Professor of Psychological Medicine, University of Oxford

Dr Jane Walker, Senior Clinical Researcher, University of Oxford

Dr Stefan Symeonides, Clinical Lecturer in Medical Oncology, University of Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre

Prof Charlie Gourley, Professor of Medical Oncology and Honorary Consultant oncologist University of Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre

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