The range of drug treatments for multiple myeloma is set to be extended, NHS advisers have said.
New draft guidance on a drug for multiple myeloma has been released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The drugs daratumumab plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone are recommended for previously untreated multiple myeloma in adults, if an autologous stem cell transplant using the patient's own cells is unsuitable.
The NICE committee reached this recommendation based on clinical trial results showing that this combination delays disease progression, and may extend survival, compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone.
In the guidance, the authors state: “The most likely cost-effectiveness estimates for daratumumab plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone are within the range that NICE normally considers an acceptable use of NHS resources, so it is recommended.”
This move is predicted to benefit nearly 4,000 people with untreated multiple myeloma each year, according to the charity Myeloma UK.
The additional drug, daratumumab (sold as Darzalex), is a human monoclonal antibody targeting the CD38 molecule, which is highly expressed on multiple myeloma cells. It is injected into the skin or a vein via a drip.
Shelagh McKinlay of Myeloma UK commented: “Daratumumab is a game changer that will make a tremendous difference to patients’ quality of life and help to close the gap in survival between people who are eligible for a stem cell transplant and those who are not.
“Not only has daratumumab been shown to nearly double current remission times, but it gets myeloma under control faster.
“Approximately two-thirds of newly diagnosed myeloma patients are not eligible for a transplant, and now, at long last, they’ll be able to benefit from a potentially life-extending treatment.”
Source: NICE / Myeloma UK
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