The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended ‘entrectinib’ to treat a range of cancers, calling the drug a ‘revolutionary treatment’.
The Roche-manufactured entrectinib (Rozlytrek) is the second such drug to be recommended by NICE for use on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), after the ‘game-changing’ histology independent cancer drug larotrectinib (Vitrakvi) by Bayer was confirmed earlier this year.
As a histology independent treatment, entrectinib targets all solid tumours that have a certain genetic mutation (a neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusion), regardless of where the cancer originated in the body.
“This is particularly beneficial to patients with some rare types of cancer where the treatments are currently limited,” NICE said on Thursday (June 25).
The final draft decision is set to benefit adults and children of 12 years and older, who have no satisfactory treatment options, with advanced NTRK fusion-positive solid tumours.
Eligible patients will have access to entrectinib through the CDF once the marketing authorisation has been granted.
Meindert Boysen from NICE said: “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, said: “This is the latest deal that the NHS has struck, working together with Roche, to help hundreds of cancer patients every year who will now be able to have this important molecular targeted treatment.”
Around 600–700 NHS patients who have solid tumours with NTRK gene fusions could potentially benefit from the treatment.