NICE recommends cabozantinib for advanced renal cell cancer

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final guidance recommending cabozantinib for some kidney cancer patients

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final guidance recommending cabozantinib (marketed as cabomeytx by Ipsen) for some kidney cancer patients. This is a change from the appraisal committee’s previous draft guidance decision.

It is estimated that 1000 people with kidney cancer will be eligible for treatment with cabozantinib.

The independent appraisal committee had previously found the additional benefits of cabozantinib, compared with current care, were not sufficient to justify the cost of treatment. There was also uncertainty about which medicines cabozantinib should be compared with. This meant NICE could not recommend the drug.

Lowered cost

In response to this, the company compared cabozantinib with medicines that are more often used in the NHS. It also lowered the cost of treatment to the NHS. This meant the committee could recommend cabozantinib as a cost-effective, treatment for people who have advanced renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer).

Find out more about the unmet need in RCC…

Cabozantinib inhibits the growth of new blood vessels within a tumour, and so prevents it spreading. It is used for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma in adults after treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy.

New evidence

Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE said: “There are limited treatment options available for people who have advanced kidney cancer, so I am very pleased that the new evidence submitted means we can recommend cabozantinib.”

Where NICE recommends a treatment, the NHS is legally obliged to begin funding the drug within 3 months of the final publication date.

Professor Tom Powles, Professor of Medical Oncology at Barts Cancer Institute and UK Principle Investigator of the phase III METEOR trial commented: “The NICE approval of cabozantinib is an important decision for advanced kidney cancer patients. It is one of the few drugs in this disease which extends survival. It is therefore an effective option for patients, justifying its prominent position in the latest treatment guidelines. This approval will help patients in an area of unmet need. Further research is needed to continue the progress towards long term remissions and cure.”