NICE recommends pemetrexed for the maintenance treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer
In draft guidance, published today (1 April 2010), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends pemetrexed (Alimta, Eli Lilly) for the maintenance treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer.
In line with the NICE technology appraisals process this draft guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against the proposed guidance. NICE has not yet issued final guidance to the NHS.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with around 38,000 people diagnosed every year. Non-small-cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for around 80% of all cases.
Professor Peter Littlejohns, Clinical and Public Health Director at NICE said: “In September 2009 NICE recommended pemetrexed as a first line treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer and we are pleased to be able to recommend pemetrexed as a maintenance treatment as well.
“The two main goals of maintenance treatment are to prolong the period of remission after first-line chemotherapy and increase the likelihood of being able to receive second-line chemotherapy. It is a new concept in lung cancer care and pemetrexed is the first drug to be made available for this type of treatment in the UK.
“In draft guidance, published for consultation in December 2010, the committee felt that there were too many uncertainties in the data and analysis provided by the manufacturer for it to be able to recommend pemetrexed. However, Eli Lilly addressed these concerns by providing additional analyses for consideration at the February 2010 Appraisal Committee meeting.”
This page was last updated: 14 May 2010