In 2005 guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended that all young people in England aged 15 to 24 years with cancer should have access to specialist age-appropriate cancer care. There are 13 principal treatment centres (PTC) in England linked to other regional hospitals that are designated to deliver age-appropriate care. Similar models exist in Scotland and Wales. In Wales, one PTC in Cardiff delivers care and is linked to the hospitals in Wales. In Scotland, PTC exit in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen and can deliver ‘shared/joint care’ with Dundee, Inverness and Dumfries. While the way care is delivered is different in each PTC, they have a common philosophy of care. Professionals and patients say ‘specialist age-appropriate care’ is “better” for young people, but there was limited evidence to support this. BRIGHTLIGHT is generating the evidence to underpin future policy recommendations.
The BRIGHTLIGHT programme of research has expanded beyond the original work streams of the NIHR-funded programme grant, and now includes a broad range of affiliated studies related to young people’s cancer care. Details of both the original BRIGHTLIGHT studies and additional affiliated studies can be explored below.