§ Mr. Clapham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans a treatment package for mesothelioma sufferers; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
[holding answer 25 May 2004]: We are currently considering referring pemetrexed disodium (Alimta), for the treatment of mesothelioma, as a topic for appraisal by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
We continue to keep a close eye on clinical trials to determine when the development of clinical guidelines on mesothelioma might be appropriate. The national health service is providing infrastructure and service support costs for two mesothelioma trials currently under way through the national cancer research network.
A lung cancer advisory group has also recently been established to support the development and delivery of high quality services for lung cancer patients. One of the key areas that this group will address is the management of the increasing incidence of mesothelioma.