21 November 2018

A further tranche of patients in England is to be allowed to receive CAR-T cell therapy, it was announced last week.

Up to 30 people under the age of 25 are expected to benefit annually from the decision, which will give their doctors access to the drug via the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Under the new guidance issued last week, the treatment will be offered to patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said a specialised NHS service is now being developed to manage access to the CAR‑T therapy, also known as tisagenlecleucel or Kymriah.

The latest permission has come after manufacturer Novartis offered an undisclosed discount on the £282,000 list price for the treatment.

Dr Alasdair Rankin, from charity Bloodwise, said: “CAR-T cell therapy can give children with leukaemia the real possibility of long-term survival if they do not respond to standard treatments. Today’s announcement will come as a huge relief for a number of worried families.

“We hope that people will be able to access the therapy as soon as possible.”

Meindert Boysen, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “NICE’s recommendation of tisagenlecleucel marks a new generation of personalised medicine that has the potential to transform the care of patients with cancer worldwide.”

Source: NICE - https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-recommends-cutting-edge-therapy-for-young-people-with-blood-cancer


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