The NHS It is offering a life-prolonging drug for patients with a rare form of throat and stomach cancer.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE approved nivolumab – which is used to treat rare forms of the gastrointestinal tract cancer – which will see around 3,000 eligible people in the UK.
Nivolumab, also known as Opdivo, is a targeted immunotherapy that is designed to recognize and attach to a specific protein that can shut down the body’s immune system. Clinical evidence shows that in preventing this procedure, 8 percent of people achieve long-term remission compared to 4 percent currently.
Stomach and esophageal cancer includes tumors located anywhere in the esophagus, sometimes called the esophagus or food pipe, the stomach and where the esophagus meets the stomach. in this time , The most common treatments These are surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy drugs.
a Clinical trial The study, conducted by Bristol-Myers Squibb – the company behind the drug – showed promising results among patients, studying 1,581 cases of previously untreated advanced stomach cancer, gastroesophageal junction carcinoma and esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Of these, 789 patients were given a combination of Opdivo chemotherapy and chemotherapy, while 792 patients were given chemotherapy alone. Overall, survival rates proved stronger with combination therapy: At one year, half of the patients on Opdivo and chemotherapy went nearly eight months without their cancer spreading, growing, or getting worse compared to six months on those who had for chemotherapy alone.
Helen Knight, interim director of drug assessment at NICE, said: “The combination of nivolumab plus chemotherapy not only has the potential to slow the disease and extend the lives of people with these forms of cancer, but there is some promise for long-term remission.
“We know that there is a significant impact on the quality of life of people with these advanced forms of cancer, and therefore I am delighted that we have been able to recommend this innovative treatment to people with these rare forms of stomach and oesophageal cancer.
“We are determined to push such pioneering therapies into the hands of health and care professionals.”
With the consent of NICE, NHS National Director of Cancer, Professor Peter Johnson, said: “Osophageal cancer is one of the most difficult to diagnose and treat, and this new life-prolonging drug, used in combination with chemotherapy, will give hope to the thousands of people with this disease, allowing them to spend more time with them. Your loved ones, enjoy a better quality of life and in some cases help them get rid of cancer.
“It’s another example of the NHS using its commercial capabilities to deliver cutting-edge medicines, along with our work to detect cancers earlier than ever before, directly to the patients who need them – giving them the best chance of surviving cancer.”