UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved Amgen’s new anti-cancer treatment carflizomib for multiple myeloma patients on the National Health Service (NHS).
Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects the bone marrow of the patient.
Carflizomib is a more tolerable treatment that does not cause any serious side effects, such as chronic pain from damaged tissue, to the same extent as current treatments, as found by the independent committee at NICE.
NICE Centre for Health technology evaluation director Carole Longson said: “Our independent committee recognised that carfilzomib provides benefits for this group of patients over current treatments, including improving quality of life, and so were able to recommend the drug for routine use in the NHS.”
When administered in combination with dexamethasone, carflizomib can destroy blood cancer cells by causing excess protein to build-up inside them.
Myeloma UK Charity policy and public affairs manager Kate Morgan said: “As carfilzomib and dexamethasone has been shown to be effective in prolonging survival in relapsed myeloma patients, with limited negative impact on quality of life, it is very important for patients to have access to it on the NHS.”
Also known as Kyprolis, the Amgen drug is used to treat patients with multiple myeloma whose cancer has returned after one round of treatment, and can be administered to patients whose previous treatment does not include bortezomib.
The treatment will be made available to approximately 2,200 patients a year on the NHS by late October.
Image: Myeloma cells. Photo: courtesy of NICE.