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  • Brain tumours - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    More Our research history Our research strategy FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Brain tumours Topic Brain tumours What do palladium metal Charles Darwin and Salmonella have in common Category Science blog December 22 2015 Emma Hodgson We look at three exciting new projects funded through our Pioneer Award scheme Read More Getting the full picture better imaging makes brain cancer easier to see Category Science blog November 3 2015 Misha Gajewski Scientists have found a way to make brain tumours easier to see according to new research presented at the NCRI conference Read More Science Snaps bridging the gap between nerve repair and cancer spread Category Science blog August 21 2015 Kat Arney This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Science Snaps Our researchers have made an unexpected connection between the biological processes involved in nerve repair and the way some cancers spread Read More 5 hot research topics our scientists are homing in on Category Science blog August 13 2015 Nick Peel From the mechanics behind fast moving melanoma cells to cancer s very own family tree here are 5 hot research topics our scientists are working on Read More Proton beam therapy where are we now Category Science blog July 16 2015 Emma Smith We look at the competing programmes public and private that aim to bring a new form of radiotherapy called proton beam therapy to the UK Read More Improving the gold standard for brain tumours Category Science blog January 16 2015 Alan Worsley We explore new research from our scientists testing a modified version of a brain cancer drug that could help overcome resistance to treatment Read More NCRI 2014 conference summary day 3 Category Science blog November 5 2014 Nick Peel Here s our round up from day three of the NCRI cancer conference in Liverpool Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths debunked How does alcohol cause cancer

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/cancer-type/brain-tumours/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Children’s cancers - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Children s cancers Topic Children s cancers Expert Opinion Professor Richard Gilbertson talks children s cancers Category Science blog November 26 2015 Alan Worsley We caught up with Professor Richard Gilbertson to find out the challenges facing research into children s cancers and where the field is heading Read More Will you be finding a cure for my child Watch our Google Hangout on tackling cancer in kids and teens Category Science blog October 8 2015 Kat Arney This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Google Hangouts Following the success of our last Google Hangout we re thrilled to be able to bring you a fascinating discussion and cancer in kids and teens Read More Proton beam therapy where are we now Category Science blog July 16 2015 Emma Smith We look at the competing programmes public and private that aim to bring a new form of radiotherapy called proton beam therapy to the UK Read More Working together to beat cancer in young people Category Science blog July 15 2015 Alan Worsley We talk about some of the highlights from the Cancer Research UK Kids Teens Workshop and how we can overcome some of the biggest challenges facing childhood c Read More Cancer in kids teens and young adults why we re renewing our focus Category Science blog January 22 2015 Alan Worsley Cancer deaths in children and young people have dropped by nearly 60 per cent in the past 40 years read about our new campaign looking accelerate this trend Read More Classifying leukaemia one size doesn t fit all Category Science blog September 26 2014 Anthea Martin This entry is part 18 of 25 in the series Our milestones A landmark research paper in 1977 changed the way children with acute leukaemia are diagnosed and treated We look at the story of a research milestone Read More Childhood cancer research what are the barriers Category Science blog September 18 2014 Phil Reynolds We look at some of the challenges in running childhood cancer clinical trials Read More Older Posts

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/cancer-type/childrens-cancers/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Proton beam therapy: where are we now? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    the art high energy proton beam facilities in the UK by 2018 one at the Christie Hospital in Manchester the other at UCL Hospital in London at a total cost of 250 million There are also plans to build a research focused proton beam centre in a new institute at Oxford University a major investment being supported by the Government and Cancer Research UK among others From 2018 the first cancer patients treated at the new NHS facilities will be those for whom current evidence already recommends proton beam therapy children with several specific types of cancer some adults with rare cancers particularly where tumours have developed near the brain base of the skull or spine This is good news especially for young children and their families as it avoids the disruption and stress of international travel But could more patients benefit That s something we need to find out and the UK centres will lead to more clinical trials testing the treatment s effectiveness in different groups of patients But even at full capacity there will still be a limit on the number of patients the centres treat So which patients should be the first to join these trials UK experts are discussing these questions to decide where the priorities lie Another crucial question is whether some patients shouldn t be treated with proton beam therapy because conventional radiotherapy may be just as or even more effective for their type of cancer Proton therapy won t be suitable for everyone and it won t replace conventional radiotherapy But alongside the National Proton Beam Therapy Programme a few private companies have also announced plans for proton beam facilities in the UK and are saying that NHS patients will be able to use these as early as 2016 How do these compare to the publicly funded machines What about private centres Proton therapy is suitable for treating certain childhood cancers In March Proton Partners International Limited a private company announced plans to build three centres in London Cardiff and Newcastle for nearly 100 million The company claims the facilities will be ready as early as 2016 and that they ll treat both NHS and private patients Two other companies are planning centres in London s Harley Street and Moorgate opening from 2017 This might seem like good news increasing the UK s capacity for treating patients with proton therapy But there are reasons to be cautious about these headline grabbing announcements Firstly we don t know whether nor how many NHS patients will be able to use the private centres nor whether the NHS will be able to afford the amount companies want to charge Secondly if NHS patients are treated at private centres it s vital that the treatment they get is as high a standard as the government funded centres Yet according to NHS experts quoted in the Daily Mail the proposed designs for the private centres seem to have less functionality than the NHS facilities And thirdly it s vital that proton therapy is smoothly integrated into patients overall care Cancer treatment is often complex and is best provided in a hospital where different expert teams such as diagnostic labs imaging specialists surgeons oncologists and of course radiologists can work together seamlessly Proton beam therapy is no different it needs to be given by teams of experts who understand all of the patient s needs The current overseas programme relies on good relationships and trust between doctors in the UK and at US and Swiss proton beam therapy centres If patients are able to use private proton beam centres around the UK there would need to be a similar situation in place to ensure all aspects of their care remain a top priority We re also worried that patients treated privately might miss out on the opportunity to take part in clinical trials slowing down vital research on proton beam therapy Not putting patients first Our final concern is over the alignment of motives Ultimately private companies aim to make a profit so who they decide to treat can be influenced by this as much as with scientific evidence of benefit One of the companies has already said they believe that as many as 10 per cent of patients who currently receive radiotherapy should get proton beam therapy This is well above the NHS s estimates and there s no evidence to back this up One particular point of contention is around prostate cancer A spokesperson for Proton Partners International Limited recently told the BBC that he thought proton therapy might benefit 30 per cent of prostate cancer patients But studies from the US have suggested that proton beam therapy is no better at treating prostate cancer nor does it reduce the common side effects like incontinence and erectile dysfunction Despite this according to the American Cancer Society the number of US prostate cancer patients receiving proton beam therapy has shot up as proton facilities become more widely available Ultimately if private centres start offering proton beam therapy to a wider group of patients even those who won t necessarily benefit from it there needs to be extreme care not to fuel the perception of an unfair two tiered health system in the UK NHS patients must not be made to feel that they are being denied a treatment that is marketed as being better nor that they need to part with large sums of money to have the best chances of surviving What s the bottom line Proton beam therapy is particularly useful for certain tumours of the brain and nervous system While there are certain patients who can and should benefit from proton beam therapy headlines about privately owned centres making the treatment accessible to hundreds more NHS patients are a little premature As is often the case the devil is in the detail and a lot of important details are still unknown such as whether the facilities will be ready on schedule provide treatment of

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/07/16/proton-beam-therapy-where-are-we-now/comment-page-1/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Zoë Molyneux | Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Author Zoë Molyneux Author Zoë Molyneux Reforming NICE and the Cancer Drugs Fund four key changes we want to see Category Science blog November 19 2015 Zoë Molyneux As NHS England and NICE put forward proposals to reform the way cancer drugs are approved and paid for we outline our thinking on this controversial topic Read More What next for the Cancer Drugs Fund Category Science blog November 13 2014 Zoë Molyneux We look at the latest developments to the controversial Cancer Drugs Fund which pays for patients in England to get drugs that haven t been approved by NICE Read More Will NICE s proposed reforms actually work Category Science blog July 30 2014 Zoë Molyneux Our thoughts on the new proposals to reform the the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence NICE Read More Putting cancer surgery under the spotlight Category Science blog February 19 2014 Zoë Molyneux We ve published a report on the state of cancer surgery services in the UK Read More Will the NHS reforms give us a world class radiotherapy service Category Science blog August

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/author/zoemolyneux/ (2016-02-11)
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  • What next for the Cancer Drugs Fund? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    discussion time is of the essence But this will also involve the Government looking at how much the NHS is willing to pay for certain types of treatments and for NHS England to consider how flexible it will be after NICE says no currently the Individual Funding Request route for exceptional cases is very restrictive Consideration given to the idea that in the longer term NHS England could give conditional funding to some drugs used in small populations and or for rare cancers where it is harder to collect evidence of patient benefit This funding would then continue after an evaluation to see if the drugs work well in these patients The funding system in general to be more flexible to meet the individual needs of patients Currently the system of Individual Funding Requests which doctors can apply for on behalf of patients in exceptional circumstances is very restrictive So while the Cancer Drugs Fund regularly pays for drugs for reasonably common conditions it is often difficult to get drugs for patients in difficult or unusual circumstances We would like to see a system put in place which does more for patients with difficult to treat conditions You can read our full response here Today NHS England announced that based on the responses to the consultation it will take forward the original proposals as planned We still don t know much about what will happen in the long term though we do know that there is already a list of drugs that will be considered for potential de listing in December We hope that NHS England will clearly communicate any decisions made so that patients and doctors can understand their impact What is clear is that NHS England have said patients who are currently taking drugs on the CDF list will be able to continue taking them for as long as their doctor thinks is appropriate UK wide inequality Availability of drugs varies around the UK So that s the situation in England But when you look at the way things work around the wider UK things get even more confusing As we said above there s growing pressure for similar systems in Wales and Northern Ireland Before we go further it is important to note that there s no way to compare what drugs cancer patients are getting in each UK nation nor why they get them so we have no idea how many patients outside England are getting Fund listed drugs through other routes But it is fair to say the Cancer Drugs Fund in England has made it much more straightforward to get certain drugs and some patients though no one knows how many have actually moved to England to get drugs that may benefit them But would having a Cancer Drugs Fund in the other UK nations be helpful We don t think so it is not a long term solution There is no evidence on how well it is working it is financially unsustainable and by creating a separate fund it bypasses the normal NHS decision making and funding processes In Wales the Health Minister Mark Drakeford continues to reject calls for a Welsh CDF saying that it is clinically contentious and not based on good evidence In the meantime following a lengthy review of the Individual Patient Funding Request process the route in Wales where funding for drugs can be given in exceptional circumstances the Welsh Government has committed to changes which would likely make it more consistent This seems sensible although few details are available including timescales for the changes We would also like to see the Welsh Government consider making its exceptional circumstances system more flexible So what s next for the Cancer Drugs Fund Today s announcement from NHS England sets out how the Fund will work for the foreseeable future it is due to end in March 2016 We don t think there will be any other major changes until after the 2015 General Election But we do hope this discussion will push the Government NICE NHS England and others into starting to develop and share ideas for what is needed in the long term ready for the new Parliament to take these forward We hope that any future changes will involve full consultation with patients and the public But this cannot must not take another 5 years And it s not just about cancer drugs there are plenty of other things we want all political parties to support to help more patients survive cancer in future In the meantime we d be interested to hear your views on the Cancer Drugs Fund in the comments section below Zoe Molyneux is a senior policy advisor at Cancer Research UK Let s Cross Cancer Out take two minutes to add your voice to our campaign asking election candidates to join the fight to beat cancer sooner Image Money image by George Hodan CC0 via Wikimedia Commons Share this article More on this topic Tags Campaigning Health service policy Policy Treatment Comments Click here to cancel reply Dr Lesley Kirkpatrick April 8 2015 From Information recieved by me under the Freedom of INformation Act It is clear that the Cancer Drug Fund was already operating the new SOP in May 2014 However that version of the SOP went to Public consultation Ocotober 2014 no changes were made following the public consutation At the time a lot of criticism was made but now we know the public consutatioin was a waste of time as the new SOP was definately used 2 May 2014 nhs england never intended to make any changes in light of public commments Dr Lesley Kirkpatrick November 15 2014 Thankyou Rose Julia and Zoe when I have been invovled with groups developing guidelines for NICE approval it is usual for the document to be put out to peer review and public consultation with interested parties charities focus grroups etc Once the comments are recieved we have to answer each comment

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/11/13/what-next-for-the-cancer-drugs-fund/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Will NICE’s proposed reforms actually work? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    if NICE says a drug should be available the health service in England and Wales has an obligation to provide it to patients But NICE must look at all new drugs in a fair way it can t for example give special treatment to cancer drugs over diabetes drugs Central to how it does this is a concept known as a quality adjusted life year or QALY a complex abstract concept that ultimately aims to measure a drug s cost effectiveness What is a QALY A QALY calculation measures both the quantity and quality of life a treatment gives and places a weight on a patient s different health states as they go through treatment A year of perfect health is given a score of one and a year of less than perfect health is worth less Death as you might expect is considered to be equivalent to zero However some health states can be considered worse than death and have negative scores there s more detail on this here This can be worked out for example by comparing data collected during clinical trials to information about how patients fare during standard treatment Ultimately this is closer to a real measure of life gained or lost as it adjusts for how much patients can live a normal comfortable life Around the UK NICE guidance automatically applies in England and Wales If NICE recommends a new drug hospitals across these countries must make them available to suitable patients within 90 days of the guidance being issued But what about the rest of the UK In Wales where there is no NICE guidance on a drug a body called the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group can create interim guidance that applies to Wales only In Northern Ireland the NI Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety looks at NICE guidance once it has been issued and considers whether to endorse it In the majority of cases it does endorse NICE guidance but there is no set timescale for it to do this In Scotlan d a separate body called the Scottish Medicines Consortium SMC exists to perform the same role as NICE NICE guidance therefore does not apply in Scotland The SMC s process is broadly similar to NICE s but it is normally faster and they have recently introduced new approaches for medicines for rare and very rare conditions This can be vital as treatments can be very different One might help someone live longer but have serious side effects Another might make someone feel much better but not help them live as long Using QALYs helps NICE do the tricky job of comparing say cancer drugs and hip operations in a similar and fair way It considers the added benefit of new treatments not by considering the actual extra years of life they provide but by looking at the quality of those years How does NICE use QALYs to make a decision Once a treatment s additional QALYs have been worked out NICE can work out the cost of these from the manufacturer s set price This is the cost per QALY and the figure that often ends up making headlines At the moment NICE reckons up to 20 000 per extra QALY is acceptable for the NHS and recommends most new treatments below this price tag If it s between 20 000 30 000 NICE will consider other factors called modifiers to make its decision including how confident they were about the cost per QALY calculation whether quality of life was measured accurately on the trials whether the treatment is better than existing treatments whether it supports the non health aims of the NHS such as efficient spending or encouraging innovation If the drug costs more than 30 000 per QALY then it normally gets a no But since 2009 drugs which could extend life by between 3 and18 months and which cost up to 50 000 per QALY have been given special consideration under end of life criteria more on this later This has allowed NICE to approve drugs to give people with terminal illness a little more time This was something that the system was having trouble with but which much of the public quite understandably puts a huge value on What are the problems with this approach Over the years some serious issues have been raised with NICE s approach It s not very flexible there are no exceptions to the above criteria It s often slow although has got faster in recent years It can be unpredictable Because it operates on a case by case basis it can t take a wider view of the NHS drugs budget It s inherently skewed towards drugs rather than surgery or radiotherapy It s not sufficiently sensitive to complex factors e g whether one type of side effect is worse than another It doesn t always account for what matters to patients But mostly it s incredibly hard to understand There have been attempts to fix some of these problems over the years such as the end of life criteria we mentioned above But another more drastic change came from Government in 2010 the Cancer Drugs Fund which created a different way for patients to get cancer drugs It was set up in response to reports that the UK uses fewer cancer drugs than comparable countries The Fund is a completely separate budget for the NHS earmarked for cancer drugs that have either been rejected by NICE or which it hasn t yet got round to looking at NICE has no say on the Cancer Drugs Fund which currently covers 41 drugs but only for patients in England Initially intended as an interim short term measure while a new system was being worked on it was extended last year to run to 2016 and we still don t have a new workable system It s important to note that doctors can always make an Individual Funding Request

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/07/30/will-nices-proposed-reforms-actually-work/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Cancer Drugs Fund decision – ‘How can we deliver personalised treatment with an impersonal funding system?’ - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    an impersonal and centralised system The Fund had its origins in the intense frustration that patients and doctors felt that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE appraisal system failed to take account of the complexities of cancer and the problems of obtaining new treatments for difficult illnesses in individual patients The wider controversies that have dogged the Fund initially worth 200 million a year then 280m and now up to 340m if NHS England s spending predictions hold true are well documented Established in 2010 the Fund has in effect served as a carte blanche to pay for some cancer drugs in England that haven t been approved by NICE There was no focus on cost control so its budget has grown as more and more patients an extra 2 000 of them every month receive drugs via the Fund Paradoxically the use of a single national list still made it nearly impossible to obtain funding for difficult individual cases which did not fit the criteria on the list The worst of both worlds a rapidly rising cost but still not addressing the original problems of difficult individual cases On top of this as it s England only it has exacerbated UK wide differences in treatment availability and introduced perverse incentives into the system So it was always going to be unsustainable especially in an NHS with finite resources and under financial pressure And while the Fund has played an important role in allowing patients to have certain treatments it was always intended as a short term fix while reforms to NICE were drawn up and implemented A question of cost Of course the Fund has been pruned out of economic necessity to make it more efficient and to keep its budget under control although the extra 60m runs counter to NHS England s previous determination not to spend any more money on it To this end it s good that the 25 treatment options removed from the list relating to 16 different drugs have been assessed based on evidence around their cost and benefit to patients And it was sensible that NHS England gave the relevant pharmaceutical companies an opportunity to negotiate price reductions where possible Having said that the decision process isn t necessarily the easiest to understand although at least information on the individual decisions has been made public But having two separate mechanisms NICE and the CDF to assess drugs doesn t make sense especially as they come to their conclusions quite differently Surely the best outcome would be a re evaluation of NICE s role and its processes so we have one good organisation for this job We need a new system urgently We re moving away from the one size fits all era of cancer care and we need a system that reflects this rather than making centralised top down decisions Regardless of these drugs undoubted and at times eye watering costs there are some patients for whom these treatments offer

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/01/14/cancer-drugs-fund-decision-how-can-we-deliver-personalised-treatment-with-an-impersonal-funding-system/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The interim Cancer Drugs Fund – how will it work and will it improve access for patients? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    the purse strings at the local level in the NHS will have extra money to pay for it regardless of whether the drug has been approved or not by NICE The Cancer Drugs Fund is the brainchild of new Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley and was born out of the Conservative manifesto and reiterated in both the Coalition Programme for Government and the recent Health White Paper Equity and Excellence Liberating the NHS Originally this Fund was due to start from April next year and run until 2014 when Government says it will introduce a brand new system of value based drug pricing This interim Fund announced today is additional money to tide the country over until the official Fund begins in April This new money is great news for people currently being treated for cancer A recent Government report showed that fewer new cancer drugs were prescribed in the UK compared to other countries in Europe possibly because of a lack of available funding But although the launch of the fund is good news we still have a few questions about how it work in practice How will the fund actually work England is divided up into ten regional Strategic Health Authorities or SHAs which are responsible for local planning monitoring quality and managing the capacity of local health services Earlier this year Sir Bruce Keogh the NHS s medical director wrote to the SHAs to outline how this funding should be applied In summary the total 50 million is to be broken down into smaller chunks of money and distributed to the 10 SHAs with the amount each receives depending on the size of its population In practice this will range from around 7 5 million for the London and North West SHAs to just under 3 million for the North East SHA All SHAs should by now have clinically led panels made up of doctors and commissioners who are responsible for buying treatment and care for the NHS to receive requests from doctors on a case by case basis for their share of the 50 million However the guidance also states that all other funding routes should be exhausted before patients can qualify for these funds These include existing agreements by local health providers that drugs not yet approved by NICE are made routinely available in their area or exceptional case prescribing Exceptional cases are when doctors can ask for money on a case by case basis because they think their patient is clinically more likely to benefit from a drug than the general population Because of this the Cancer Drugs Fund runs the risk that patients could be left waiting while doctors fill in completely unnecessary forms purely to prove that they have exhausted these options So for this fund to work as it should doctors will need to be provided with clear guidance about how to apply and decisions need to be made quickly and appropriately We would also like to know what

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2010/10/01/the-interim-cancer-drugs-fund-%E2%80%93-how-will-it-work-and-will-it-improve-access-for-patients/ (2016-02-11)
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