Doctors consult on new kidney cancer drug
NICE, the healthcare guidance body, has issued draft guidance not recommending axitinib (Inlyta, Pfizer) for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer
The preliminary decision by the independent Appraisal Committee is that axitinib should not be recommended for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure of prior treatment with sunitinib or a cytokine.
NICE was asked by the Department of Health to look at the use of axitinib for the two populations specified in the drug’s marketing authorisation – those previously treated with sunitinib and those previously treated with a cytokine therapy. However, clinical experts informed the independent Appraisal Committee that the use of cytokines is decreasing in clinical practice, with only a few people currently receiving them, the majority of patients begin treatment with NICE-recommended sunitinib or pazopanib.
Commenting on the draft guidance, Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive, said:
“Before we recommend any new treatment we have to be sure the evidence on how well it works is robust and that it is cost effective. We do not want to divert NHS funds to a treatment that costs more but doesn’t help people live longer.”