Today we welcome the news that a new drug treatment is going to be made available for advanced bowel cancer patients in Scotland.
The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted trifluridine tipitacil (Lonsurf) for the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer for routine use by NHS Scotland.
The third line treatment is for patients whose bowel cancer has spread and there are no other treatment options. Lonsurf (also known as TAS-102) has the potential to add an average of 3.2 months to the lives of patients whose bowel cancer has spread.
Our Director of Services, Judith Brodie, said: “We welcome the news that a new drug treatment is going to be made available for advanced bowel cancer patients in Scotland.
“Treatment options for advanced bowel cancer are limited and some are only suitable for certain types of tumours so Lonsurf is a welcome addition. It may benefit a variety of advanced bowel cancer patients no matter what type of tumour they have – and give them extra months of life with their loved ones.
“The drug comes in tablet form so it’s very easy to take and it has been well tolerated by the patients in trials. However it’s important to note that, as with any form of chemotherapy, there is a risk of infections so patients must be monitored whilst on the drug with regular blood tests to ensure any infection is picked up early.”
Lonsurf is a combination of two treatments called trifluridine and tipiracil. Trifluridine helps reduce the tumour and tirpiracil helps to prolong its effects.
The SMC’s acceptance of Lonsurf follows the recommendation made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in August 2016 and means that appropriate patients living in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland now have access to this treatment on the NHS.
If you have advanced bowel cancer and would like to know whether you are eligible for the treatment, please speak to your oncologist.