Regorafenib can be offered as an option to treat people who have gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) that have spread to other parts of the body, cannot be treated by surgery, or if the person is unable to take other treatments.
The drug was previously only available to patients through the CDF but now, after NICE’s recommendation, it will be routinely available on the NHS.
Evidence reviewed by the NICE appraisal committee showed regorafenib can extend a GIST patient’s life by more than nine months compared to ‘best supportive care’; the alternative treatment for people with this type of progressive cancer. Supportive care means symptoms are managed, but the disease is not actively treated.
Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre of health technology evaluation at NICE said: “I am delighted that our appraisal of regorafenib means the drug will now move off the CDF and into routine NHS funding. This will mean people will be able to access it more easily, if it is the right treatment for them.”
There are approximately 900 new cases of GIST every year in the UK. The company estimate 58 patients will be eligible for regorafenib in the first year.
Regorafenib works by targeting the GIST cancer cells and stopping their growth.