WORCESTER'S MP has welcomed a £160 million funding boost for cancer treatment - saying it is "vitally important".

Robin Walker says a new cash injection from the Government is a huge boost for thousands of people in desperate need.

The Department for Health has announced that its Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), which has helped more than 55,000 cancer patients since it was set up four years ago, will be increased from £200 million a year to £280 million.

The move will mean many more patients with rare conditions will benefit from life-extending drugs recommended by their doctor.

With the number of people diagnosed with cancer each year increasing by nine per cent since 2009, the fund has an important role in helping patients receive treatment, enabling them to access drugs that are not routinely funded by the NHS.

Cancer experts at NHS England have also pinpointed two new drugs which will be added to the fund.

MPs were sent details on the new funding ahead of their arrival back in parliament following the summer recess yesterday.

Mr Walker said: "I really welcome this - the Cancer Drugs Fund is a good, very important policy which has helped a lot of people since it was launched.

"An extra £160 million is a lot of money and it will make a real difference."

The fund will now continue until at least 2016 in its new, beefed-up format.

Current figures from NHS England show how around 2,000 people gain access to it each month to get vital treatment.

Mr Walker's backing comes after charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer called for a "long term solution" to the access of drugs in the UK.

The body says too many effective breast cancer drugs have been rejected for NHS use in recent years due to the costs involved.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "It's vitally important that as many people as possible have access to these pioneering, life-enhancing drugs.

"We need to continue to focus our efforts on increasing access to these innovative treatments while ensuring all patients continue to receive the effective drugs which are right for them."