NHS marks ‘Alpelisib’ as 100th fast-tracked cancer drug


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The drug, alpelisib, which is the 100th cancer drug that has being fast-tracked to patients under the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) will be used in combination with the hormone therapy, fulvestrant, to target the gene that causes fast-growing tumours.

Up to 3,000 people a year with a certain type of secondary breast cancer will benefit from the treatment.

The approach has contributed to people in England having access to nearly one third more cancer drugs compared to the European average.

The drug which is manufactured by pharmaceutical company Novartis, is part of a growing number of precision treatments that target a tumor based on mutations in its DNA and that the NHS is rolling out.

John Stewart, NHS National Director for Specialized Commissioning said, “In just over five years, more than 80,000 people have benefitted from earlier access to a range of cancer drugs, with people in England having access to nearly one third more cancer drugs compared to the European average, and this latest innovative new treatment will help up to 3,000 more to live a better quality of life.

“This life-extending breast cancer treatment is the 100th to be rapidly made available to NHS patients thanks to the Cancer Drugs Fund, and will help people with secondary breast cancer to live longer.”

Breast cancer patients that have received prior treatment with an endocrine and CDK4/6 inhibitor will be able to benefit from this treatment on the NHS after the medicines regulator, the MHRA, extended the license for the treatment in December 2021.



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