A new NHS drug deal has made a revolutionary lung cancer drug available for those eligible.
Over 100 patients have already received the treatment also known as Sotorasib which targets a genetic mutation that scientists and medical professional have labelled as the ‘death star’.
The KRAS gene effects one in eight lung cancer patients which presents itself in a spherical appearance.
"“The NHS is committed to saving more lives from cancer through earlier diagnosis and treatment"
Amanda Pritchard- NHS Chief Executive
The drug treatment has gone through clinical trials and have proven to prevent lung cancer growth for seven months.
After 40 years of development the treatment will now be made available on the NHS as part of the Long-Term Plan to secure more access to innovative therapies.
NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said: “It is fantastic news for hundreds more patients and their families that they will now be able to receive this first of its kind treatment thanks to another deal struck by the NHS.
“From life-changing drugs for cystic fibrosis to new treatments for sickle cell disease, this is the latest in a long list of deals we have struck to provide the latest cutting-edge therapies for patients – at a price that is affordable for the taxpayer.
“The NHS is committed to saving more lives from cancer through earlier diagnosis and treatment, and cancer has been prioritised throughout the pandemic, so anyone who has symptoms or is concerned should come forward and get checked as soon as possible”.
Researchers believe that the new drug could offer a better and longer life than chemotherapy and will also cause less side effects.
Patients can take Sotorasib from home as it comes in the form of a tablet, making it easier for patients to get the correct care without having to attend their local hospital.
The treatment will be offered to eligible patients through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) and will be made available to around 1,200 people.
NHS clinical director for cancer Peter Johnson said: “It is very exciting to see this ground-breaking treatment coming into use after 40 years of research on this important target, to directly help patients with lung cancer that carries this particular mutation.
“The NHS is committed to saving more lives from cancer through better diagnosis and treatment, with molecular testing through our genomics programme increasingly important for selecting the best options for patients, and this deal will make this drug readily available for patients that need it most”.
This forms the latest addition to the new innovative treatments being made available to patients in the NHS Long Term Plan.