Continuous researches and studies are being conducted to extend life of lung cancer patients by innovating new methods and techniques. A new research has been conducted by NICE.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended in draft guidance that pembrolizumab combined with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy is an option for untreated advanced lung cancer patients. Pembrolizumab is an immunotherapy drug also called as Keytruda and is used by thousands of lung cancer patients. It is administrated every three weeks by intravenous infusion.
In the study, Pembrolizumab combined with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy gave patients four additional months without their cancer progressing as compared to the standard treatment of pemetrexed with platinum chemotherapy. This makes pembrolizumab the first immunotherapy to be made available to NHS patients in England used in combination with chemotherapy for treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Pembrolizumab works by targeting a specific protein on the surface of cells involved in body’s immune response to cancer.
Meindert Boysen, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation said, “NICE recommends that this treatment is given for a maximum of two years, because it is thought that patients do not need to continue treatment beyond this point to achieve the benefits. NICE will consider this point when we review the additional evidence.”
Further evidence is required regarding the benefits of the drug, and its potential to extend life of patients with lung cancer. Thus, it could not be considered for routine NHS use but has been recognized as it has the potential to be cost effective and likely to extend life.
This combination therapy will be available to NHS patients soon.
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