People with advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer to get life-extending treatment

30 Sep 2021 03:06 PM

Around 130 people per year with untreated locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer will be eligible for a new life-extending treatment after NICE published final draft guidance yesterday (30 September 2021) recommending atezolizumab.

Atezolizumab (also known as Tecentriq and made by Roche) has been recommended by NICE for people whose tumour expresses PD-L1 (a protein which prevents the body’s immune system killing the cancer cells) at a level of 5% of more and when platinum-containing chemotherapy is unsuitable.

The recommendation comes after additional clinical evidence which showed that people who have atezolizumab are likely to live up to 8 months longer than those who have platinum-containing chemotherapy was collected as part a Cancer Drugs Fund managed access agreement.

Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE yesterday said:

“I am pleased we are able to recommend this life-extending treatment for people with this form of urothelial cancer. The independent appraisal committee heard from the clinical and patient experts that there is an unmet clinical need for people with this form of cancer. They also recognised that people value additional treatment options which have a positive impact not just in terms of extending their life, but in improving their quality of life too.

“Today’s decision comes after additional clinical evidence was collected as part of a managed access agreement through the Cancer Drugs Fund. I am pleased we were able to not only secure access for people with this form of urothelial cancer in the interim but to now recommend it for routine use in the NHS.”

Urothelial carcinoma is cancer of some of the cells which form the inner lining of the bladder, urethra, ureter, or renal pelvis. Urothelial carcinoma is most common in the bladder, and accounts for 90% of bladder cancers.  There were 10,300 diagnoses of bladder cancer in 2013, accounting for 1 in every 30 new cases of cancer each year.