Since the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) opened in July 2016, nearly 15,700 patients have benefited from 52 drugs treating 81 different types of cancer. Of these patients, around 5,000 have received treatment sooner than they would have under the previous system.
AS NHS England has also secured discounts on on eight of the treatments previously funded via the old CDF this is expected to generate savings for the NHS of around £140m over the next five years.
The new system means the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) appraisal process now starts much earlier for newly referred drugs, with the aim of publishing draft guidance before drugs receive their licence, and then final guidance to be issued within 90 days of that.
Patients also benefit from new cancer drugs at least four months earlier under the reformed CDF than was previously the case. All cancer treatments recommended by NICE, whether for routine commissioning or the CDF are now available to patients as soon as positive draft guidance is published by NICE.
Further information can be found at NHS England
NICE confirms that it will recommend that breakthrough cancer drugs palbociclib and ribociclib be provided on the NHS for women with advanced breast cancer| story via OnMedica
There are around 45,000 new diagnosis of breast cancer each year in England and it is estimated that around 8,000 of these people would be eligible for treatment with either palbociclib or ribociclib.
In draft guidance, NICE said breast cancer patients should have routine access to these two life extending drugs after a new deal with their manufacturing companies who agreed to lower the price and who gave more evidence for their effectiveness.
Palbociclib (Ibrance) from Pfizer and ribociclib (Kisqali) from Norvatis, are recommended for people with hormone receptor (HR) positive, HER2 negative locally advanced or secondary breast cancer.
NICE said that although there were some uncertainties on how long they extend the life expectancy of people with this type of breast cancer, these promising new drugs were found to stall the growth of cancer for an extra 10 months on average.
Cancer Research UK launches trial to test new drug in patients with advanced cancer | Cancer Research UK
A clinical trial to test a new cancer drug in patients with advanced solid tumours, launches in four centres across the UK, through Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development.
This early phase trial will test the safety and tolerability of the drug and establish the recommended dose for patients with a variety of cancers including advanced bowel, lung, ovarian, urothelial, pancreatic, breast, head and neck, and oesophageal cancer.
In the first part of the trial, groups of patients will receive increasing doses of the drug, called LY3143921 hydrate, to find the safest dose that best targets the cancer cells. The drug, discovered by Eli Lilly, was brought to Cancer Research UK through the charity’s Clinical Development Partnership scheme.
In the second part, larger groups of patients will receive the highest tolerated dose, so that researchers can investigate how the drug is working on the cancer cells.
The drug has not yet been tested in people but has shown promise in mice by selectively inhibiting Cdc7, a protein that helps cells to reproduce correctly.
Full story at Cancer Research UK
Patients getting faster access to cancer drugs as NICE approves three quarters of the Cancer Drugs Fund | NICE
Liver cancer drug, sorafenib has been approved for routine NHS use, marking three quarters of the way through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) without a negative decision.
NICE has recommended sorafenib, also known as Nexavar, made by Bayer to be routinely available for some patients on the NHS.
Sorafenib is one of the 24 drugs NICE was asked to appraise from the CDF, and all have been approved so far for routine NHS use.
Its positive recommendation means that NICE is three quarters of the way through the CDF with 18 drugs now approved.
Companies, like Bayer have provided discounts and in some cases additional evidence meaning the drugs can be considered as cost effective for routine NHS.
Read the full news story here
The NHS in England will soon be able to routinely fund the use of trastuzumab emtansine for people with certain categories of breast cancer, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has announced in new draft guidance | OnMedica
NICE’s decision means that, by late summer, more than a thousand women and men could benefit from the drug.
HER2-positive breast cancer accounts for about a fifth of the roughly 41,500 women and 300 men who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in England, but HER2-positive tumours are typically more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. The targeted treatment trastuzumab (Herceptin) is only effective for this type of breast cancer. Trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) is licensed for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, after trastuzumab and a taxane, taken either in combination or separately.
Currently, trastuzumab emtansine – which at full list price costs about £90,000 per patient – is only available on the NHS through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). But NICE revealed yesterday afternoon that the drug’s manufacturer Roche had agreed a new commercial access arrangement with NHS England. When NICE factored this confidential agreement into a new clinical and cost-effectiveness analysis, also applying end-of-life criteria, it concluded that it can now recommend the drug as cost effective for routine use on the NHS.
The chemotherapy drug capecitabine gives patients a better quality of life and is as effective at preventing breast cancer from returning as the alternative regimen called CMF, when given following epirubicin. | ScienceDaily | Cancer Research UK
Around 4,400 patients on the TACT2 clinical trial were treated with the chemotherapy drug epirubicin followed by either capecitabine or CMF, after surgery.
Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre found that capecitabine resulted in patients experiencing fewer side effects and having a better quality of life, and it was as effective at preventing cancer’s return as CMF.
Most patients experienced some side effects regardless of the treatment they were given. But those taking CMF were more likely to experience severe side effects including early menopause, nausea, infection, thrombosis, and anemia.
During the trial, patients were followed up after 12, 18 and 24 months, and then yearly for at least 10 years, to see if their cancer had returned and to monitor side effects. More than 85 per cent of patients did not experience their cancer returning for at least five years.
More detail at
Link to the research:
Cameron, D., et al. Accelerated versus standard epirubicin followed by cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil or capecitabine as adjuvant therapy for breast cancer in the randomised UK TACT2 trial (CRUK/05/19): a multicentre, phase 3, open-label, randomised, controlled trial. The Lancet Oncology.
Expert cancer clinicians have condemned a preliminary decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) not to approve use of the drug nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of head and neck cancer on the NHS | OnMedica
NICE has today issued new draft guidance which does not recommend nivolumab in this way, saying that it is not cost-effective.
Nivolumab is administered intravenously every two weeks and the drug works by blocking a protein on the surface of cells known as PD-L1, which reduces the activity of the body’s immune cells. There is more PD-L1 on cancerous cells which stops the immune system from attacking the tumour.
NICE said the anticipated marketing authorisation for nivolumab was for treating squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck which has progressed during or after platinum-based chemotherapy.
The watchdog found that the evidence showed a significant improvement in overall survival rates in the short term after nivolumab. However, its value for money was considerably above that which is usually a cost-effective use of NHS resources.
Read the full commentary here
NICE draft guidance is available here