What has NICE said?

What has NICE said?

Pemetrexed (Alimta) is recommended as a possible maintenance treatment for locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer in adults when:

  • their disease has not worsened after 4 cycles of pemetrexed and cisplatin and

  • they have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1.

What does this mean for me?

If you have locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer, and your doctor thinks that pemetrexed is the right treatment, you should be able to have it on the NHS.

Pemetrexed should be available on the NHS within 3 months.

If you are not eligible for treatment as described above, you should be able to continue having pemetrexed until you and your doctor decide it is the right time to stop.

The condition and the treatment

Lung cancer is grouped into 2 main types depending on how it looks under the microscope: small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. There are 3 main types of non-small-cell lung cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large-cell carcinoma.

Locally advanced or metastatic cancer means that it has spread to surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body.

The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status is a measure of how well you are. An ECOG status of 0 means that you are fully active, more or less as you were before your illness. A status of 1 means that you can't carry out heavy physical work, but can do anything else.

Pemetrexed is an anticancer drug which aims to stop the cancer getting bigger.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more.

These organisations can give you advice and support:

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2032-7

  • Information Standard