Earlier this year, Sarcoma UK provided information to an All Wales Medicines Strategy Group’s consultation about the use of imatinib for GIST patients in Wales as an adjuvant treatment. (Adjuvant treatment is an additional treatment, after the first treatment, which reduces the risk of the cancer returning.) The AWMSG has just announced that imatinib for GIST patients who meet the criteria will be routinely available in the NHS across Wales (by October 2014).
Imatinib (Glivec) has been approved for restricted use in NHS Wales for the adjuvant treatment of adult GIST patients who are at significant risk of relapse following surgical removal of a KIT (CD117)-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumour. It is not available as an adjuvant treatment for patients who have low or very low risk of recurrence.
Imatinib as an adjuvant therapy has also been approved for use in certain circumstances in Scotland. In England, its use as an adjuvant therapy is being reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and is currently only available via the Cancer Drugs Fund.
For more information about GIST, visit www.sarcoma.org.uk/publications.
For more information about the AWMSG’s recommendations, visit: www.awmsg.org/awmsgonline/app/appraisalinfo/1653