Breast cancer check

New hope for advanced breast cancer: NICE approves talazoparib

After an offer of increased discount, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has reversed its decision to not recommend talazoparib for adults with advanced breast cancer.

NICE had previously opted against approving talazoparib for adults with BRCA 1 or 2 mutated HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

Once finalised next month, the recommendation of the treatment – which is marketed at Talzenna and made by Pfizer – means that NICE has positively responded in all 20 of its completed appraisals of breast cancer treatments since 2018.

Currently, there are no targeted treatments for this type of advanced breast cancer on the NHS, and alternative treatments are limited.

Treatments include chemotherapy (mostly taxanes) and supportive care. Talzenna would be instead of chemotherapy.

“Today’s announcement addresses a significant need by giving people with these types of cancer access to an additional treatment.”

NICE’s director of medicines evaluation, Helen Knight, continued: “And because talazoparib is taken as a once-daily tablet it means it’s much more convenient for people who would otherwise need to go into hospital for intravenous chemotherapy.”

Clinical trial data showed that talazoparib increased how long people live without their cancer getting worse, compared to chemotherapy. The trial indicated no difference in how long people live outright.

Talzenna is a type of treatment known as a PARP inhibitor and works by shrinking or slowing the growth of certain types of cancer cells.

Helen Knight added: “Although some uncertainty in the clinical evidence remains, when considering the impact of advanced breast cancer and its effect on quality and length of life, the improved discount from the company means we can now recommend talazoparib for use in the NHS.”

Chris Twelves, a professor of clinical cancer pharmacology and oncology at the University of Leeds, explained: “People who have an inherited BRCA mutation have an increased chance of developing breast cancer and often at a younger age than those without the gene mutation.”

Prof Twelves, who is also the director of the NIHR Leeds Clinical Research Facility, added: “Today’s decision is an important advance in expanding treatment options for eligible patients who currently have limited alternative treatments.”

Image credit: iStock

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