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14 February 2017

The tyrosine-kinase inhibitor ponatinib could soon be available on the NHS after the publication of draft guidance, which recommends the drug for some patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

An independent appraisal committee of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence concluded that ponatinib, which is currently available to patients in the Cancer Drug Fund, was more effective than therapies such as bosutinib.

NICE has recommended ponatinib to treat adults with chronic myeloid leukaemia in adults who have chronic phase CML who have genetic changes present – known as the T315I gene, and for patients with accelerated or blast phase CML when the disease is resistant to dasatinib or nilotinib.

It is also recommended if they cannot have dasatinib or nilotinib, if imatinib is not clinically appropriate, or when the T315I gene mutation present.

However, NICE does not recommend ponatinib for patients with chronic phase CML who do not have the T315I gene mutation present.

NICE has also recommended the drug for adults with Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia if their disease is resistant to dasatinib, they are unable to have dasatinib or imatinib or if the T315I gene is present.

The draft recommendations are now out for public consultation until 7 March 2017 and the committee is expected to announce its findings in June 2017.


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