06 February 2019

Another CAR-T cell therapy for adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has been approved for use on the NHS through the Cancer Drugs Fund, it was announced today.

Tisagenlecleucel, which is also known as Kymriah, will be offered to people whose disease has not responded or for those whose disease has relapsed after treatment with two or more courses of chemotherapy. It is believed about 200 people will be eligible for treatment each year in the UK.

The treatment, which was provisionally rejected by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) because of cost, is now being funded through the Cancer Drugs Fund after negotiations between NHS England and manufacturer Novartis.

The list price for tisagenlecleucel is £282,000, though Novartis have agreed to offer the therapy at a confidential discounted price.

Meindert Boysen, director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “Recommending another revolutionary CAR-T cell therapy for adults with lymphoma represents a step forward for personalised medicine. We are pleased that patients are set to benefit from such an innovative therapy so rapidly because of joint working between NICE, NHS England and the company.

“CAR-T cell therapy is expensive, however the treatment is specific to each individual and could be a potential cure for some, although it is early days. Our recommendation for tisagenlecleucel on the Cancer Drugs Fund means people can benefit while more data is collected.”

The decision was welcomed by Ropinder Gill, chief executive of Lymphoma Action.

She said: “We’re very pleased that this ground-breaking CAR-T cell therapy will now be available on the NHS for some people with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. This is really good news for people affected by this type of lymphoma who, until now, have faced limited treatment options.  The news offers patients and their families faced with a poor prognosis a more hopeful outlook.”

John Stewart, director of specialised commissioning at NHS England, added: “The NHS has agreed another deal with the manufacturer Novartis which means that from next week more patients will benefit from this game changing treatment at even more hospitals throughout the country.”

Source: NICE https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-recommends-another-revolutionary-car-t-cell-therapy-for-adults-with-lymphoma


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