NICE Approves Combination Therapy for Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

lung | Lung CancerThere are mainly two different groups of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. These groups can further be split into more groups depending on where and how the cancer forms including squamous non small cell lung cancer and non squamous non small cell lung cancer. Squamous non small cell lung cancer develops from the flat cells that cover the surface

The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approves a combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) with chemotherapy drugs to treat a type of NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer). This new therapy combination will be offered on NHS (National Health Service) in England. These chemotherapy drugs include carboplatin and paclitaxel for treatment of squamous non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Pembrolizumab is an immunotherapy that works by blocking a molecule found on immune cells called PD-1. It helps in killing cancer cells. The drug was approved to treat non small cell lung cancer in combination with chemotherapy drugs, irrespective of whether the tumor tested positive for PD-L1 or not.

This new therapy combination was earlier available in England through the Cancer Drugs Fund and this latest decision comes after pembrolizumab with chemotherapy drugs got approval for NSCLC last year. With this new drug getting approved in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, more people can benefit from it. In this therapy, individuals treated with pembrolizumab lived for 17.1 months on an average as compared to 11.6 months for those individuals who were treated with chemotherapy.

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