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The UK health service has started providing Votrient® (pazopanib) treatment to patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma in England and Wales.
The treatment advisory body to the National Health Service (NHS) yesterday issued positive final guidance for pazopanib, a targeted oral treatment.
This follows the decision by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) to license the drug for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma in June 2010.
Approval from the EMA authorises the use of pazopanib in all 27 member states of the European Union.
Pazopanib has been shown to effectively slow disease progression whilst maintaining quality of life, compared with placebo.
Professor Robert Hawkins, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Christie, Manchester, commented on the final guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE): “This decision means clinicians will be able to offer their patients a choice of first-line, oral treatments for advanced renal cell carcinoma, each with different side effect profiles.
“Pazopanib’s positive guidance from NICE allows patients in England and Wales to access an additional treatment, which can control their kidney cancer whilst maintaining quality of life – an important consideration for patients at the advanced stage of disease.”
Advanced renal cell carcinoma is an aggressive form of kidney cancer, which is generally unresponsive to chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapy.
Targeted therapies have transformed the effective management of renal cell carcinoma, but until today, only one such treatment has been available on the NHS.
NICE acknowledged that there are limited treatment options and that pazopanib would be a useful first-line treatment option for patients with advanced RCC.
The NICE TAG recommends pazopanib as a first-line treatment option for people with advanced renal cell carcinoma who have not previously received cytokine therapy and who are of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0-1, on the basis that GSK provides the agreed patient access scheme.
Copyright GlaxoSmithKline 2011