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NICE gives thumbs-up to Roche's Kadcyla in HER2+ breast cancer sub-population

Published on 07/05/20 at 01:00pm

NICE has revealed that it has recommended the NHS use of Roche’s Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine) for HER2+ breast cancer in patients who have residual invasive disease in the breast or lymph nodes after receiving neoadjuvant treatment including a HER2-targeted agent.

HER2, or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, is a cancer cell protein which is associated with larger tumours, higher risk of recurrence and poorer clinical outcomes in breast cancer. Around 7,000 breast cancer patients are diagnosed as HER2+ each year. It is estimated that around 800 patients in England and Wales will now be eligible to receive the drug through routine NHS use.

NICE moved to recommend the drug on the basis of clinical data demonstrating that Kadcyla improved progression-free survival compared to trastuzumab alone in patients who saw their tumours shrunk but not eliminated after receiving neoadjuvant therapy with a taxane chemotherapy and HER2-targeted treatment – a population who are at risk of disease re-emergence. However, final results on the therapy’s efficacy in extending overall survival have not yet been reached.

“Additional treatment options that can increase the amount of time in which people remain free of disease after surgery, and perhaps stop it from coming back altogether, are particularly welcome,” remarked Meindert Boysen, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE. “We are therefore pleased to be able to recommend that trastuzumab emtansine is made available routinely for people with HER2-positive early breast cancer after surgery.”

While the average cost of Kadcyla stands at $51,000 per treatment, the NHS has negotiated a confidential discount with Roche.

Lesley Hugo, Breast Cancer Franchise leader at Roche, also commented: “Today’s news means that patients with early breast cancer will continue to benefit from the latest advancements in cancer care, where receiving effective treatment early in the disease is crucial to prevent recurrence. We are proud to have worked with the breast cancer community to achieve this milestone, one which represents a step forward in the treatment of this disease.”

Matt Fellows

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