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Pfizer’s Ibrance approved by NICE, to be added to the Cancer Drugs Fund

Published on 28/11/19 at 11:10am

Today it was announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Pfizer’s Ibrance (palbociclib) to be made available via the Cancer Drugs Fund.

It will be used for the treatment of women with hormone receptor positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, who have received prior endocrine therapy.

This decision means that palbociclib in combination with fulvestrant will be immediately available on the NHS, through the Cancer Drugs Fund, and can be used to treat those who have already had earlier rounds of hormone therapy for their advanced disease.

Dr Olivia Ashman, the Oncology Medical Director at Pfizer UK, said: “This outcome marks a significant milestone for the secondary breast cancer community. We know how important it is for women to have access to treatment options that can delay the progression of their disease and help them live a normal life for longer, and we are delighted that through the CDF this option will be available.”

HR+ and HER2- is the most common type of breast cancer and accounts for more than 60% of all diagnoses. When it spreads to other parts of the body, in its advanced stage, it becomes incurable and only 15% of British women will live beyond five years.

Professor Nicholas Turner, Professor of Molecular Oncology at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, was one of the clinical experts on the NICE panel and said: “This class of medicine remains one of the most important breakthroughs in breast cancer in the last two decades and palbociclib has been shown to slow tumour growth and maintain quality of life, both of which are incredibly important to women living with this type of breast cancer. Today’s news will be warmly welcomed by patients and doctors alike.”

Palbociclib is a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitor which inhibits tumour cell growth. Data from the clinical trial showed that palbociclib, in combination with fulvestrant can delay disease progression by 6.6 months. By prolonging progression free survival (PFS), it delays the need for subsequent therapies, including chemotherapy, enabling women to live well whilst their disease remains stable for longer.

 Conor Kavanagh

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