Cancer drug trialled at QA Hospital green-lit in '˜huge leap'

A CANCER-FIGHTING drug has been approved for use in the NHS after trials run at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Thursday, 17th November 2016, 12:01 am
Updated Thursday, 17th November 2016, 3:18 pm
A consultant studying a mammogram

More than 1,000 women are set to benefit from the breast cancer drug pertuzumab, also known as Perjeta.

Manufactured by Roche, the treatment had been held up as the regulator Health and Care Excellence (Nice) looked at it.

Nice previously said the total cost of treatment for a patient could cost between £7,185 to £16,765 but has now agreed a discount with Roche.

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New draft Nice guidance recommends the drug – in combination with Herceptin and chemotherapy – can be used as an option before breast cancer surgery to help shrink cancer in HER2-positive breast cancer.

As reported, it was tested for two years on about 12 women at the hospital and extended an average of six months to their lives.

In the time it was used the cancer did not get worse.

It should be used as an option among those who have HER2-positive breast cancer that is locally advanced, inflammatory, or early-stage and at high risk of coming back, Nice said.

Charity Breast Cancer Now said the drug could reduce the extent of the surgery patients required or even make inoperable cancers operable.

Mia Rosenblatt, from the charity, said: ‘This is a huge leap forward.

‘Perjeta is the first addition to primary breast cancer treatment to be approved by Nice since 2006 and marks the introduction of a new type of breast cancer medicine, to be used before surgery.’