29. September 2010 16:56
Roche’s cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab) will soon be available to treat NHS patients with gastric cancer, after NICE reversed its previous negative recommendation.
The Institute has recommended the drug for patients with metastatic gastric cancer who have high levels of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), a protein found on the surface of some cancer cells.
Despite originally rejecting Herceptin in this patient population, NICE reconsidered its guidance based on a new analysis provided by Roche which focused on patients with the highest levels of HER2.
Herceptin use will be restricted to the treatment of people who have not received prior treatment for their metastatic disease and whose tumours express high levels of HER2, and in combination with cisplatin and capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil, for
Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive of NICE said: “The Committee discussed this new information and concluded that trastuzumab was cost-effective in this patient group. The Committee also agreed that trastuzumab for this group of patients fitted the criteria for consideration for appraising a life-extending, end-of-life treatment.”