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NICE recommends Pierre Fabre's Nerlynx in adjuvant HER2+ breast cancer

Published on 07/08/19 at 10:43am

Pierre Fabre’s Nerlynx (neratinib) has been recommended by NICE as a new option for NHS patients with early hormone-receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer.

The ruling applies to patients who are less than one year from completing treatment with Roche’s Herceptin (trastuzumab) following surgery, where Herceptin is the only HER2-directed therapy the patient has received. It has been estimated that this means that around 1,600 people in England and Wales will be eligible to receive the therapy.

The draft guidance for the therapy advises that when used to shrink tumours prior to surgery, the patient should still have signs of cancer present in tissue samples.

Almost 50,000 women and 400 men are diagnosed each year with breast cancer in the UK, with around a fifth of all tumours being HER2-positive.

Data supporting the decision showed that patients taking Nerlynx had less risk of disease recurrence than with placebo. Though the findings did not elaborate on how this would translate into overall survival benefit, NICE judged the therapy to be a cost-effective use of NHS resources.

“Breast cancer remains the most common form of cancer in the UK, accounting for around 30% of all cancers in women. And although there have been advances in the treatment of early stage HER2-positive breast cancer, around a quarter of people treated with trastuzumab following surgery will have a recurrence of their cancer,” commented Meindert Boysen, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE. “We are therefore pleased to be able to recommend neratinib as a further treatment option for people with this type of breast cancer, based on the benefits it provides in extending the time before the disease gets worse and on its important potential to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.”

Matt Fellows

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