Imfimzi for routine use on NHS England for patients with stage III unresectable lung cancer

pharmafile | May 16, 2022 | News story | Sales and Marketing  

AstraZeneca has announced the NICE recommendation of Imfinzi (durvalumab) for routine use within NHS England as a monotherapy for the treatment of locally advanced stage III unresectable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The treatment has been approved for adult patients whose tumours express a protein called PD-L1 on at least 1% of tumour cells, and whose disease has not progressed following concurrent platinum-based chemoradiation therapy (cCRT).

Unresectable cancer refers to cancer that cannot be surgically removed.

Dr Patricia Fisher, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Sadly not all people with stage III unresectable non-small cell lung cancer are treated with the intention to cure and those that are, many will progress to develop advanced incurable disease. Since durvalumab was made available within the CDF, we have seen a significant shift to more patients being treated with concurrent chemoradiation therapy because they then have the option to follow this with immunotherapy, giving them the chance of improved outcomes. Today’s positive recommendation by NICE should increase clinician confidence in using a combination of therapies in this setting.”

Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, and accounts for over 21%, or one in five, of all cancer deaths.

“We are delighted by NICE’s decision to make durvalumab available for routine use within England,” said Arun Krishna, Head of Oncology, AstraZeneca UK. “Our priority now is to make strides in the curative intent setting by working with clinicians to routinely embed durvalumab into the treatment pathway to deliver better survival outcomes for lung cancer patients.”

Durvalumab was made available as a treatment option for this patient group via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in May 2019. The CDF is a scheme providing patients with faster access to new cancer treatments. Tom Keith-Roach, President, AstraZeneca UK, elaborated: “I’m delighted that this group of stage III NSCLC patients will have routine access to this immunotherapy for the first time. This is a great example of how collaboration with NICE and NHS England through the Cancer Drugs Fund has enabled early and now continuing access to durvalumab for stage III NSCLC patients in the UK.”

Ana Ovey

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