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NICE fast-tracks recommendation of a new treatment for kidney cancer

In draft guidance published today, NICE has recommended a new treatment, pazopanib (Votrient, GlaxoSmithKline), for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Pazopanib is recommended as a first-line treatment option for people with advanced renal cell carcinoma who have not received prior cytokine therapy and have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG)1 performance status of 0 or 1. As agreed under the patient access scheme the manufacturer will also provide pazopanib with a 12.5% discount on the list price and a possible future rebate linked to the outcome of the head-to-head trial, known as the COMPARZ trial, comparing pazopanib and sunitinib, details of which will be confirmed when the COMPARZ trial data are made available.

Dr Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director at NICE said: “Sunitinib is recommended by NICE for first line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma. Pazopanib will offer patients an additional option and, for some, a more favourable side effect profile.

“The manufacturer has offered a straight discount on the list price of pazopanib, as well as providing a possible future rebate linked to the outcome of the head to head trial comparing pazopanib and sunitinib; making pazopanib a cost-effective option for the NHS.”

In line with the NICE technology appraisals process this draft guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against the proposed guidance.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. Final guidance is expected to be published in February 2011. Until NICE issues final guidance, NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments.

Renal cell carcinoma is a kidney cancer (tumour) that starts in cells lining the small tubes that help to make urine. In advanced disease, the tumour has spread inside the kidney, but may or may not have spread to nearby lymph glands. In metastatic renal cell carcinoma, the tumour has spread beyond the lymph glands to other parts of the body. In March 2009, NICE recommended sunitinib for people with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Ends

Notes to Editors

About the appraisal

1. View the draft guidance for further information.

2. The manufacturer of pazopanib has agreed a two-part patient access scheme with the Department of Health. Part A of the patient access scheme provides a 12.5% discount from the list price. Therefore the daily acquisition cost of pazopanib is £65.39. Part B of the patient access scheme, the details of which are ‘commercial-in-confidence' and cannot be reported, offers a future rebate linked to the head-to-head COMPARZ trial,.

3. The end of life considerations did apply to this appraisal in relation to pazopanib compared with interferon-α.

4. The trial evidence presented indicates that pazopanib, can delay progression of the cancer by approximately eight months compared with placebo, this does not address the comparison with active treatments used for this patient group. The Committee appreciated that a head to head trial versus sunitinib is ongoing and considered it appropriate at this time to review the indirect evidence provided by the company. On that basis the Committee considered it acceptable to conclude that pazopanib is likely to be a cost effective use of NHS resources.

About NICE

5. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

6. NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:

  • public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
  • health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures within the NHS
  • clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.

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1This scale is used by doctors and researchers to assess how a patient's disease is progressing, assess how the disease affects the daily living abilities of the patient, and determine appropriate treatment and prognosis.

This page was last updated: 24 December 2010

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Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.