The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) confirms another immunotherapy treatment in combination with chemotherapy drugs is to be made available on NHS for patients with advanced lung cancer. The decision has been to accept MSD’s immunotherapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy on NHS in Scotland for first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
A new lung cancer treatment that can help patients, have been approved for use by NHS in Scotland. The doctors and campaigners welcomed the decision by SMC to allow the drug Keytruda, also known as pembrolizumab, to be used along with chemotherapy. This allows one to treat people with advanced stage of non-small cell lung cancer.
In the study, a total of 5331 Scots were diagnosed with disease in 2017 and only 9.8% are still alive five year after diagnosis. This new decision which involves patients with NSCLC can benefit from immunotherapy treatment as well as chemotherapy. NSCLC accounts for about 90% of total lung cancer patients.
Dr. Brian Clark of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow said, “While single-agent immunotherapy has been helping Scottish patients for several years, it is clear many patients benefit from the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This is an important development in the treatment of lung cancer in Scotland, where it remains the leading cause of cancer death in men and women.” SMC has also approved Yescarta, for treating blood cancer lymphoma.
This new decision has been very welcome news for lung cancer patients in Scotland. Scotland has had one of the highest rates of lung cancer in the world. About nine out of ten patients with lung cancer have NSCLC. While single-agent immunotherapy has been helping Scotland patients for years and now, this combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy is going to benefit patients.
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