SMC accept Enhertu for the treatment of HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer

pharmafile | January 18, 2022 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

Daiichi Sankyo and AstraZeneca have announced that the SMC has accepted Enhertu® for use within NHS Scotland for the treatment of HER2 positive unresectable or metastatic breast cancer. The cancer treatment is approved for adults who have received two or more prior anti-HER2 based therapies, in line with its conditional marketing authorisation.

“This acceptance is a significant milestone for the people in Scotland living with HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer,” said Lesley Stephen, patient representative for METUP UK, a charity for people living with metastatic breast cancer. “There is a significant unmet need within metastatic breast cancer and new treatment options are important in tackling the disease burden”.

Enhertu (Trastuzumab deruxtecan) is accepted for use within NHS Scotland on an interim basis, subject to ongoing evaluation and future reassessment.

In Scotland, the impact of breast cancer is significant, with nearly 5000 cases diagnosed in 2019 alone. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with one in eight Scottish women developing it in their lifetime. It is also the second most common cause of cancer death in women, with roughly 1,000 people dying from the disease each year. Estimates suggest that one in five cases are HER2 positive.

Some breast tumours contain higher levels of a protein known as HER2, and these cancers are known as HER2-positive breast cancers. HER2 is a protein that helps breast cancer cells grow quickly. Breast cancer cells with higher than normal levels of HER2 protein are known as HER2-positive, and grow faster than HER2-negative breast cancers. They are, however, much more likely to respond to treatment with drugs that target the HER2 protein.

In England, Trastuzumab deruxtecan was accepted by NICE for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in 2021. It has also been accepted in Wales, in line with the NICE recommendation. Discussions with North Irish health authorities are still ongoing.

Ana Ovey

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