10 July 2017

A new treatment option for people with kidney cancer

People with advanced kidney cancer are set to benefit from a new treatment, after NICE has said cabozantinib should be available on the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends cabozantinib as an option for people with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The NICE appraisal committee were unable to recommend cabozantinib following their initial assessment of the drug in February 2017. This was because they felt some of the clinical evidence presented by the company was unreliable.

In response to this, the company revised their submission to strengthen the evidence. The NICE committee have since concluded cabozantinib is a cost-effective, viable treatment option for people who have advanced RCC.

RCC starts in cells lining the small tubes in the kidney that help to make urine. In the advanced stage of the disease, the tumour spreads to other parts of the kidney, in some cases spreading to nearby lymph glands.

Cabozantinib is a small molecule that inhibits the growth of new blood vessels within a tumour, and so prevents it spreading.

Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE said: “There are limited treatment option available for people who have advanced kidney cancer, so I am very pleased that the new evidence submitted means we can recommend cabozantinib.”

It is estimated that 1000 people with kidney cancer will be eligible for treatment with cabozantinib.

There were 9,023 people with kidney cancer in England in 2015. Between 2007 and 2015, this rose by 6%. Following this trend would mean more than 10,000 people could have kidney cancer this year.