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Scotland approves first-line treatment for advanced kidney cancer

Published on 09/07/18 at 10:32am

The Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved the use of EUSA Pharma’s Fotivda (tivozanib) as a first-line treatment for people with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The decision will enable around 165 patients suffering from RCC – a common form of kidney cancer – to access a new first-line treatment option each year. The drug, which will be available through the NHS in Scotland, was shown to prevent the progression of RCC for an average of 11.9 months. While kidney cancer is already among the ten most commonly diagnosed cancers in Scotland, rates of the deadly cancer are predicted to increase over the next ten years.

Commenting on the decision, Professor Rob Jones, Professor of Clinical Cancer Research at the University of Glasgow said: “The treatment of patients with this type of kidney cancer once it has spread has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Although medicines currently do not offer a cure, they do now offer hope and the chance to live with the disease for many years in certain cases. Tivozanib has been shown to delay deterioration in some patients with incurable kidney cancer, and to have a different side-effect profile which may provide an alternative treatment option for some patients who are starting treatment for the first time. Today’s announcement means that patients being treated within the Scottish NHS will have a wider variety of treatments available to them, enabling them, along with their medical team, to choose the treatment that best fits their needs.”

Fotivda acts by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels that allow tumours to grow. In 2016, 980 people in Scotland were diagnosed with kidney cancer while more than 400 died from the disease in the same year. As such the approval offers hope for those diagnosed with the cancer in coming years.

As stated by Karen McNee, Principal for Kidney Cancer Scotland: “Levels of kidney cancer in Scotland continue to rise year-on-year and it is vital the right treatments are available as early as possible, particularly for those whose tumours have spread. Today’s positive decision from the SMC has the potential to help hundreds of people across Scotland living with kidney cancer and give them and their families hope for the future. Our hope is that this is just the start of more good news to come in the fight against kidney cancer in Scotland.”

Louis Goss

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