Information for the public
Erlotinib (Tarceva) is recommended as a possible treatment for people with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer that has already been treated with non-targeted chemotherapy because of delayed confirmation of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR-TK) mutation status, if:
their cancer tests positive for the EGFR‑TK mutation or
it is not known if the cancer is EGFR‑TK mutation‑positive because of problems with the test, and
the cancer is very likely to be EGFR‑TK mutation‑positive
it responds to the first 2 cycles of treatment with erlotinib.
Erlotinib is not recommended for treating locally advanced or metastatic non‑small‑cell lung cancer that doesn't test positive for the EGFR‑TK mutation.
If you have EGFR‑TK positive or unknown non‑small‑cell lung cancer that has already been treated with non‑targeted chemotherapy because of delayed confirmation of EGFR status, and your doctor thinks that erlotinib is the right treatment, you should be able to have the treatment on the NHS.
Erlotinib should be available on the NHS within 3 months of the guidance being issued.
If you are already taking erlotinib or gefitinib for non‑small‑cell lung cancer, that is not recommended above, you should be able to continue taking it until you and your doctor decide it is the right time to stop.