NICE recommends Tagrisso (osimertinib) in England for lung cancer patients

pharmafile | November 30, 2021 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

AstraZeneca have announced that Tagrisso (osimertinib) is now available as an adjuvant treatment option to patients in England with completely resected early-stage IB-IIIA EGFR mutation-positive (EGFRm) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Osimertinib will be made available via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), and treatment is subject to a three-year clinical stopping rule.

In the ADAURA Phase III trial, adjuvant treatment (following surgery) with osimertinib in patients with stage II-IIIA EGFRm NSCLC reduced the relative risk of disease recurrence or death (disease-free survival) by 83% compared to placebo.

Lung cancer accounts for over one in five (21%) of all cancer deaths in the UK, and more than 48,000 people in England are diagnosed with NSCLC every year, with around 12% having tumours with EGFR mutations. Patients with early-stage NSCLC often undergo surgery with curative intent as standard of care, but disease recurrence within five years of surgery remains high.

Survival in lung cancer patients has not seen a significant improvement in the last 40 years, emphasising the constant need for new, innovative, and effective treatment options.

Professor Eric Lim, Professor of Thoracic Surgery at The Royal Brompton Hospital, commented: “This is a significant milestone in the treatment of lung cancer in England as there remains an urgent need for new personalised therapies even in early-stage disease that have the potential to improve results of established treatments such as surgery.

“Data show that osimertinib, a well-tolerated treatment, reduces the risk of cancer recurrence or death by 80% in patients with early-stage EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer after a successful operation. It is vital we identify eligible patients with EGFR mutations early in the treatment pathway to ensure they can access this treatment to potentially improve and extend their lives.”

Arun Krishna, Head of Oncology, AstraZeneca UK, said: “We are delighted with this positive recommendation which builds on the initial early access authorisation achieved through Project Orbis and reaffirms the role that this potentially life-extending treatment can have for some people with early-stage lung cancer. It’s now critical that everyone with non-small cell lung cancer – no matter what stage of disease – is tested for the presence of EGFR mutations to determine whether osimertinib could be a potential treatment option.”

Lina Adams

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