NICE supports Novartis and Pfizer treatments for neuroendocrine tumours
Novartis’ Afinitor and Pfizer’s Sutent have gained backing from NICE as cost-effective treatment options for certain neuroendocrine tumours (NETs).
The public body has published final guidelines recommending both drugs for ‘routine’ NHS commissioning when NETs of the pancreas cannot be operated on and have progressed.
Afinitor is recommended to also be considered as an option for patients with NETs of a gastrointestinal or lung origin when the disease has advanced.
The drug is an active inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein, a central regulator of tumour cell division and blood vessel growth in cancer cells. Sutent inhibits the protein kinase, an enzyme that plays a part in the growth of cancer cells.
According to NICE, the clinical trial evidence showed that both drugs are effective for treating NETs compared with current treatment (best supportive care) in their respective settings.
An independent committee heard there are few treatment options available for NETs and that the two drugs will be welcomed by patient’s.
There are around 3,000 new cases of NETs diagnosed annually in the UK; it is estimated that nearly 1,000 patients would be eligible for treatment with Afinitor and Sutent in England every year.