• Source : Press Release
  • Date : 2022-02-01
  • Event type : Approved
  • Companies : Roche

New Drug Available on NHS Will Benefit Lung Cancer Patients

In England, thousands of lung cancer patients will be able to receive a new drug which can significantly reduce the risk of cancer recurring. Following approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Roche's atezolizumab (Tecentriq) can be used to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

England is only the second country in Europe to provide this ground-breaking treatment to eligible cancer patients, thanks to a deal made by NHS England.

It is anticipated that more than 850 people in England diagnosed with the condition will be eligible for the treatment in the first year, and this is expected to rise to more than 1,000 in the third year.

Atezolizumab is the first immunotherapy approved for patients diagnosed with early-stage NSCLC, whose tumours express the PD-L1 mutation and who have undergone prior surgery and chemotherapy treatment – these patients have a higher risk of their cancer returning after treatment.

Results from the clinical trials for the treatment have shown atezolizumab has the ability to significantly reduce the risk of cancer returning or death by 34% in people with early-stage NSCLC, following surgery and chemotherapy.

The drug is administered via an IV drip and works by blocking a protein that stops the immune system from destroying cancer cells, making cancer cells clearer to the immune system.

Over the course of the next few weeks, the first patients will be able to receive the treatment. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) is working to finalise its ongoing appraisal following an early-access deal brokered by NHS England with the drug manufacturer, Roche.

Chief executive of NHS England, Amanda Pritchard, said: “I'm delighted that the NHS in England has secured this deal so we can continue to offer patients the best in cutting-edge drugs and state-of-the-art treatments. By making atezolizumab available at the earliest opportunity, NHS patients now have a very exciting new treatment which has the potential to dramatically reduce their risk of cancer relapse.

“The NHS has a strong track record of securing rapid access to innovative, trailblazing treatments for our patients, and this is the latest agreement that places a brand new treatment in the hands of frontline NHS staff, supporting them to continue to deliver world-class patient care.”

Pritchard added: “The NHS Long Term Plan set out an ambition that 55,000 more people will survive their cancer each year, and this treatment is great news for patients whose lung cancer is picked up early by the Targeted Lung Health Checks pilot which is another pioneering initiative spear-headed by the NHS”.