NICE recommends Opdivo (nivolumab) for oesophageal cancer treatment

pharmafile | November 17, 2021 | News story | Research and Development  

NICE has recommended nivolumab for the adjuvant treatment of completely resected oesophageal or gastro-oesophageal junction (GOJ) cancer, in adults who have residual disease after prior neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT).

Nivolumab is the first immunotherapy to be made available to oesophageal or GOJ cancer patients who have already received trimodality therapy (CRT followed by surgery) in England and Wales.

Oesophageal cancer is when abnormal cells in the oesophagus grow in an uncontrolled way, according to Cancer Research UK. It mainly affects those in their 60s and 70s, and is more common in men than women. It is the seventh leading cause of death from cancer in the UK, and there are approximately 9,300 new cases (2016-2018) and around 8,000 deaths (2016-2018) every year.

The recommendation from NICE is supported by data from the Check Mate-577 study, in which patients who received nivolumab following CRT and surgery were seen to have twice the median disease-free survival vs placebo.

“People with oesophageal cancer who have undergone trimodality therapy and failed to fully respond have, until now, had limited to no further treatment options. It’s excellent to see that NICE has now recommended immunotherapy for use in the adjuvant setting,” said Julie Harrington, CEO of Guts UK. “This positive step may provide new optimism for people living with oesophageal cancers and their families.”

Professor Tom Crosby OBE, Upper GI Consultant, Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff, added: “The outcomes for patients with oesophageal and gastro-oesophageal junction cancers need to be improved, and many patients remain at high risk of recurrence even following trimodality therapy with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.

“Nivolumab is the first immunotherapy to be made available for patients who need additional treatment in England, and has the potential to improve disease-free survival.”

Lina Adams

Related Content

No items found

Latest content