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Published on 8 August 2011

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SMC recommends Mepact® for osteosarcoma treatment

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The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) today recommended Mepact® for use in children and young adults (aged between two and 30) with high-grade non-metastatic osteosarcoma.

Manufacturers Takeda UK have hailed the success of Mepact® as the first advance in osteosarcoma treatment for 20 years, claiming it reduces the risk of death by almost a third (8% absolute risk reduction p=0.03),

Roger Paul, Chairman of the Bone Cancer Research Trust said:

“This is a fantastic result which means that children and young adults in Scotland have access to this treatment that has been shown to improve long-term survival in a large clinical trial.

“There is strong support for Mepact® from clinicians, patient groups, patients and their families alike, and the SMC’s recognition of the potential clinical benefits of Mepact® is welcomed.”

Osteosarcoma is a rare and often fatal form of bone cancer, with approximately 150 new cases in the UK every year. The average age of an osteosarcoma patient is 15, although children as young as two-years-old have been diagnosed with the disease.

Typically, it is a highly aggressive disease, which in about a fifth of sufferers spreads to other parts of the body, usually the lungs. For up to a third of newly diagnosed children and young adults, the cancer will return after surgery and standard chemotherapy.

Current standard treatment is chemotherapy given before and after the tumour has been surgically removed. Between a third and a half of all children and young adults receiving this treatment will not survive beyond five years.

Yasuhiro Fukutomi, Managing Director of Takeda UK said: “We have always been committed to ensuring that children and young adults have the same level of access to Mepact® regardless of where they live in the UK, and are grateful to all those who have been involved in this process.

“It has taken everyone’s collaboration to lead us to this successful conclusion for osteosarcoma patients in Scotland today.”

Scottish Medicines Consortium



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