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25.06.20

Histology independent cancer treatment recommended by NICE

Entrectinib, which could prove to be a revolutionary treatment for a range of cancers, has been recommended by NICE for use on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

As a histology independent treatment, entrectinib targets all solid tumours which have a certain genetic mutation (a neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusion), regardless of where in the body the cancer originated.

It is expected to be particularly useful, as such, for patients with some rare types of cancer where treatment options are currently limited.

The final draft decision is set to benefit adults and children 12 years and older who have advanced NTRK fusion-positive solid tumours and no satisfactory treatment options. Eligible patients will have access to entrectinib through the CDF once the marketing authorisation has been granted.

Between 600–700 people have solid tumours with NTRK gene fusions. A proportion of these people, who have no satisfactory treatment options, will be eligible for treatment within the first year that it is available on the CDF.

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Meindert Boysen, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “Today’s decision is another positive step forward for cancer care driven by genomics. Treatments like entrectinib, have the potential to revolutionise how we treat cancers by targeting a genetic mutation that activates tumour growth irrespective of the solid tumour’s location.

“While the evidence suggests that solid tumours with NTRK gene fusions shrink in response to entrectinib, further trial data is needed. We are therefore pleased that, because of the joint working between NICE, NHS England and NHS Improvement and the company, adults and children 12 years and older will be able to access entrectinib on the CDF while more data is collected to address any clinical uncertainties.”

Professor Peter Johnson, NHS Clinical Director for Cancer, added: “As well as helping cancer patients to continue to get essential care during the coronavirus pandemic, the NHS has been working to bring new treatments onto the front line of patient care.

“This is the latest deal that the NHS has struck to help hundreds of cancer patients every year who will now be able to have this important molecular targeted treatment.”

Entrectinib represents the second histology independent recommended by NICE this year, with larotrectinib also being recommended for a similar patient group on the CDF previously.

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