A report provided to MPs has revealed new research highlighting that 75% of cancer specialists who treat cancers including lung, breast or bowel or leukaemia, are struggling to overcome barriers preventing the use of innovative personalised medicines in the NHS; barriers include access to and cost of biomarker tests and NHS bureaucracy. Worryingly the research highlights that patients are not always being prescribed the most appropriate treatment for them, with 53% of cancer specialists admitting that they often or sometimes prescribe a treatment that is not necessarily the best choice for a patient because of a lack of access to biomarker tests. Dr Tim Iveson, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Southampton General Hospital and member of Bowel Cancer UK’s Medical Board commented: “These findings are extremely worrying. It is simply not acceptable that some patients are not getting the treatment that they deserve. In bowel cancer, we are making headway, with biomarker testing standardised and provided to every patient by the pharmaceutical industry. We need more collaborations like this between the NHS, the pharmaceutical industry and Government to ensure better use of stretched NHS resources and to make sure that patients’ are receiving the very best treatment that will lead to the best outcomes and where possible extend life.” Personalised medicine means matching features that may be specific to a patient’s cancer with the treatment that may work best for them.