NICE draft guidance recommends capecitabine for advanced gastric cancer
In draft guidance published today, NICE has recommended a new treatment for advanced gastric cancer. Capecitabine (Xeloda, Roche Products) is recommended, in combination with a platinum-based regimen, for the first-line treatment of inoperable advanced gastric cancer.
Gastric cancer, which is also known as stomach cancer, affects approximately 8,200 people in the UK every year. Currently, patients with inoperable advanced gastric cancer are treated with fluorouracil via an infusion pump as a first-line treatment.
Dr Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director at NICE said: “Oral Capecitabine-based regimens are at least as effective as the other fluorouracil-based regimens currently used to treat gastric cancer. Patients also need fewer visits to hospital with capecitabine, because the treatment is with tablets, rather than an infusion pump. This guidance is good news for gastric cancer patients who have inoperable tumours and we are pleased to be able to recommend capecitabine”.
“When a new treatment becomes available and it does more or less the same thing and produces similar results as the existing NHS care, the choice is straightforward. As capecitabine works at least as well as the existing treatment and is convenient for patients, our independent appraisal committee has chosen to go straight to a Final Appraisal Determination in order to speed up access to this treatment.”
In line with the NICE technology appraisals process this draft guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against the proposed guidance.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 July 2010.
This page was last updated: 26 May 2010