Kidney cancer

NICE addresses inequality for most common kidney cancer

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended a new treatment option for patients with advanced kidney cancer.

NICE has approved a combination of cabozantinib (marketed as Cabometyx by Ipsen) and nivolumab (Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo) as a first-line therapy for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) – the most common form of kidney cancer.

The drug combination has already been approved for use in the UK by the Scottish Medicines Consortium. A similar approval has occurred in Northern Ireland too.

Expanding its availability into England and Wales is expected to benefit nearly 2,300 people each year.

Clinical trial success

NICE’s decision was backed by clinical trial data that suggested the combination of cabozantinib plus nivolumab enables people to live longer and have more time before their cancer gets worse.

In a randomised controlled trial, researchers found that people taking cabozantinib plus nivolumab had a median overall survival of 49.5 months compared with 35.5 months for sunitinib, which is a treatment alternative.

“…a step-change in the management of advanced kidney cancer…”

Progression-free survival also reached 16.6 months for the former, and 8.4 months for the latter.

Patient impact

The approval signals a “step-change” for advanced kidney cancer treatment and will be a “valuable addition” for the NHS, according to Dr John McGrane, consultant oncologist at Royal Cornwall Hospitals.

Kidney Cancer UK’s chief executive, Malcolm Packer, said that, given the disease has such a “devastating impact” on patients and their loved ones, his organisation is “delighted” there is another treatment option that will give the kidney cancer community more hope.

The co-founder of Action Kidney Cancer, Rose Woodward, called for further support to patients living with “under-recognised” RCC in England and Wales.

Cancer Research UK has previously suggested there are more than 13,000 new cases of kidney cancer each year in this country.

Image credit: iStock

NHE March/April 2024

NHE March/April 2024

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