We are delighted to hear the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has announced today that the tumour agnostic drug entrectinib will be made available for use in England.
Entrectinib will now be available within the Cancer Drugs Fund to treat tumours with specific genetic abnormalities in adults and children 12 years and older.
This news closely follows the approval of larotrectinib in April 2020, another treatment in the same class of tumour agnostic drugs. These drugs can be used to treat tumours that occur anywhere in the body that carry a specific genetic abnormality, known as neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusions. Only a small proportion of sarcomas are known to carry these genetic abnormalities.
Tumour-agnostic drugs have been hailed as an ‘exciting new breakthrough’ in cancer by NHS England and it is now important that the NHS makes preparations to ensure that the patients who can benefit, expected to be relatively low, are able to access them. This will require more widespread genomic testing across the country for cancer patients.
Dr Sorrel Bickley, Director of Research and Policy at Sarcoma UK said: "We’ve seen very few new treatments coming through for sarcoma in recent years, so the approval of entrectinib marks an important step forwards. With currently only just over half of sarcoma patients surviving more than five years, and surgery remaining the most widely used treatment, this effective and targeted new drug is a promising prospect.”
If you have any questions about entrectinib and how today’s announcement might affect you, our Sarcoma UK Support Line is here to help. You can call weekdays 10am-3pm or email or text anytime.
More information on Sarcoma UK's policy work.