NICE | May 2020 | NICE draft guidance recommends new treatment option for people with early breast cancer
NICE published draft guidance which recommends trastuzumab emtansine (also called Kadcyla and made by Roche) as an option for some people with HER2-positive early breast cancer.
Around 7000 people diagnosed each year in England with early breast cancer have HER2-positive disease. HER2, which stands for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, is a protein on the surface of cancer cells which makes them grow and divide.
Trastuzumab emtansine is a type of targeted cancer drug. Trastuzumab attaches to the HER2 receptor allowing the emtansine to go into the cancer cell where it becomes active and kills the cancer cell.
Clinical trial evidence shows that in people who still have some cancer cells remaining after chemotherapy to shrink their tumour and HER2-targeted treatment, trastuzumab emtansine increases the time people remain free of disease compared with trastuzumab alone. It is not known if trastuzumab emtansine increases the length of time people live because the final trial results are not yet available.