The British Sarcoma Group is the association of the specialist clinicians, nurses and supporting professionals who treat patients with sarcoma in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is registered as a 'charitable incorporated organisation' in England and Wales with the Charity Commission, registration number 1154928. Registration in Scotland and Northern Ireland is being pursued.
The BSG reaches out to colleagues in Ireland, Europe, the USA and Australia through its relationships with individuals and institutions, through collaborative research projects, and international conferences.
The BSG does not have a formal membership. All clinicians treating sarcoma in the UK are welcomed as members of the British Sarcoma Group.
The organisation of sarcoma treatment in the four countries of the UK varies according to the priorities established by the various administrations.
In England and Wales the "Improving Outcomes Guidance" (IOG) from the NHS regulator NICE, published in 2006, provides the underlying principles for the organisation of sarcoma services. Treatment standards in England are determined by the peer review programme introduced by the National Cancer Action Team to monitor the effect of the NICE Improving Outcomes Guidance (IOG) for People. (Download NICE IOG)
In Scotland the Scottish Sarcoma Network is one of the national managed cancer treatment networks, and brings together the five sarcoma treatment centres. Northern Ireland's population means that the incidence of sarcoma is so low that the specialist clinicians are all in Belfast.
Bone sarcomas are treated at one of five centres in England under NHS National Specialist Commissioning, and according to the protocols of the Scottish Sarcoma Network. Soft tissue sarcomas are treated more widely. Some sarcomas are only diagnosed following a procedure for another suspected disease and treating clinicians should refer to the local specialist centre under local Cancer Network arrangements. Most such patients will be followed up on a 'shared care' basis.
PAEDIATRIC AND TEENAGE SARCOMA
Sarcoma in children will be treated according to the protocols of the Children Cancer and Leukaemia Group whose centres across the UK specialise in children's cancers. Teenage sarcoma is also treated in specailist units, where these are available, and usually by the same surgeons and oncologists who treat children and adults.
For England and Wales surgery for bone sarcomas is undertaken in one of the five nationallty funded centres indicated above but other treatment may be in a paediatric or teenage unit.