What has NICE said?

Pembrolizumab is recommended. It is a possible treatment for locally advanced or metastatic PD‑L1‑positive non‑small‑cell lung cancer in adults who:

  • have had chemotherapy and

  • if needed, have had treatment for an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)‑ or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)‑positive tumour.

Pembrolizumab must be stopped after 2 years of continuous treatment.

What does this mean for me?

If you have PD‑L1‑positive non‑small‑cell lung cancer, and your doctor thinks that pembrolizumab is the right treatment, you should be able to have it on the NHS.

If you are not eligible for treatment as described above, you should be able to continue taking pembrolizumab 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. Locally advanced or metastatic cancer means that it has spread to surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body.

The treatment you have can depend on the type of proteins present on the cancer cells: PD‑L1, EGFR or ALK.

Pembrolizumab is a drug that helps the body's immune system to recognise and destroy cancer cells.

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: 978-1-4731-2266-6

  • Information Standard