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NICE recommends Lenvima as alternative first-line therapy for advanced liver cancer

Published on 19/12/18 at 12:17pm

UK drug watchdog NICE has revealed that it has recommended Eisai’s Lenvima (lenvatinib) for use on the NHS in England and Wales as a life-extending intervention for patients with advanced liver cancer whose liver is well-functioning but whose disease cannot be treated surgically.

For patients to be eligible for the therapy, they must have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1, which indicates that are either able to engage in all pre-disease performance without restriction, or that they cannot engage in physically strenuous activity but are able to carry out work of a “light or sedentary nature”.

Lenvima provides another first-line treatment option for the condition, and is thought to benefit around 900 patients a year. The current and only first-line option, Bayer’s Nexavar (sorafenib), is discontinued by around 25% of patients due to side-effects which can include nausea, weight loss and skin rash.

The drug has a list price of £1,437 for 30x4mg capsules, though the NHS has negotiated a confidential discount on the therapy.

Primary liver cancer affects around 5,500 new patients in the UK each year, according to the British Liver Trust, and is more common in men than in women.

Matt Fellows

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