NICE recommends advanced bowel cancer drugs for use on the NHS

Posted on - 02/03/2017
Author: Communications Team

Today the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published their recommendation that the drugs cetuximab and panitumumab should be made available on the NHS for the treatment of previously untreated metastatic bowel cancer.

This recommendation means that suitable bowel cancer patients will now have sustainable access to the two targeted therapies. They may be combined with chemotherapy before surgery to shrink metastases and make them suitable for resection. They may also be offered to suitable patients as a palliative treatment when the objective is to slow the disease progression as soon as possible.

Our Director of Services, Judith Brodie, said:  “Beating Bowel Cancer is delighted that NICE has approved cetuximab and panitumumab for first line treatment for advanced bowel cancer with no time limit.

“This is good news for patients and for clinicians, who will now have the confidence to give the drugs to suitable patients in the knowledge that they can stay on the drug as long as necessary.

“This result shows what can be done when both pharmaceutical companies and NICE work together to get the best result for patients.  They should both be commended for coming to this positive and workable solution.

“However, these two drugs are not suitable for all bowel cancer patients and we will continue to fight for new drugs and treatments to be made available on the NHS, to ensure that all bowel cancer patients are given the best possible outcomes.”

More information is available on the NICE website

If you have bowel cancer and would like to know if you can receive this type of treatment, please speak to your oncologist.