NICE continues to recommend bone cancer drug

Hannah Blake


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published final draft guidance recommending denosumab, developed by Amgen, as a treatment for patients with bone metastases from most solid cancer tumours.

Bone mestastases occur when the cancers from its original tumour site to the bone, which weakens the bones. This can ultimately lead to fractures, spinal cord compression and spinal complications that require surgery.

The draft guidance has been produced following a review of available evidence and two stages of public consultation. It provisionally recommends denosumab (Xgeva) for the prevention of skeletal-related events in patients with bone metastases from breast cancer as well as patients with bone metastases from solid tumours (other than breast or prostate) who would otherwise be prescribed bisphosphonates. Denosumab is not being appraised as an anticancer or pain relief treatment.

“Bone metastasis can severely affect a person’s quality of life, stopping them from doing things so many of us take for granted. We are therefore pleased that our draft guidance recommends denosumab for those patients who are most likely to benefit from the treatment.”

Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE.

 If no appeals are made against the guidance, it will be published later this year and patients will be able to get the treatment on the NHS.


Related news:

NHS to make new drug Denosumab available to bone cancer patients (Independent)

NHS drug to help fight bone cancer (Guardian)

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