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Renal cancer drug “too costly”


Renal cancer patients are set to miss out on a new drug as it is too costly, according to draft guidance from the NHS watchdog.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) said the benefit of Afinitor, known as everlimus, as a second line treatment option for the cancer was not enough to justify the cost.

The drug, manufactured by Norvartis, works by blocking the activity of mTOR, an intracellular regulator important in tumour progression.

Unlike other therapies that primarily stop tumor angiogenesis, Afinitor targets both tumor cells and blood vessel cells.

Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive at NICE, said: “A diagnosis of renal cancer is devastating for patients and those who care for them and we are disappointed not to be able to recommend everolimus as a second line treatment option.”

He said the body had to ensure money available to the NHS was used to “best effect” especially while NHS funds were under “considerable financial pressure.”

Copyright Press Association 2010


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