22 March 2021

A new, chemotherapy-free treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is to be available on the NHS, it has been announced.

Acalabrutinib, taken as a twice daily tablet, will now be an option for monotherapy adults with untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) with a 17p deletion or TP53 mutation, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

It is also recommended for patients without a 17p deletion or TP53 mutation, if fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR), or bendamustine plus rituximab (BR) are unsuitable.

For adults who have previously been treated for CLL, acalabrutinib can be considered as an option, added the organisation.

NICE’s decision means CLL patients who have high-risk disease or cannot have standard chemotherapy can have the treatment at home.

Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia has a debilitating effect on the daily lives of those living with it. As the most common type of leukaemia in England, more targeted treatment options are very much needed and welcomed.

 “Acalabrutinib is considered by patient experts who submitted evidence to NICE’s independent appraisal committee to be generally well tolerated and could cause fewer side effects than existing NHS treatments.

 “Evidence submitted to our independent appraisal committee showed that acalabrutinib is clinically effective in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and that it will improve the quality of life for those living with this condition. We are therefore very pleased to make this positive recommendation.”

Source: NICE



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