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27 April 2012
A drug combination for patients with advanced breast cancer has not been recommended for approval by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence).
Nice decided not to recommend either lapatinib (Tyverb) or trastuzumab (Herceptin) in combination with aromatase inhibitors for advanced breast cancer patients.
Dr Caitlin Palframan, Policy Manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said:
“We want to see more treatment options for patients with advanced breast cancer so we are disappointed Nice was unable to recommend these combinations. These drugs offered significant improvements in delaying the progress of the disease, and the importance of this cannot be underestimated.
"However, these combinations did not appear to extend life, and that is something we need from new treatments for patients with advanced breast cancer.”
Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive of NICE said:
“Having reviewed the available evidence, our committee of experts has found that while both lapatinib and trastuzumab can reduce the growth and further spread of metastatic breast cancer tumours when taken alongside the aromatase inhibitors letrozole and anastrozole, the extent to which these treatments can improve overall survival appears to be small or difficult to quantify.
“Furthermore, independent economic analyses indicate that neither treatment combination appears to be cost effective for the NHS. Confidence about the additional benefits that new treatments provide is important both for patients and for those who have responsibility for managing the resources available to the NHS.
“We have published this final draft guidance on our website so that interested parties can highlight any factual errors or appeal against the provisional recommendations. NICE guidance has not yet been issued to the NHS on the use of these drugs.”