A UK health board has rejected trabectedin (Yondelis) in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLDH) as a treatment for ovarian cancer.

In a draft guidance issued on Friday, a National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advisory committee raised concerns over how well the treatment would work compared with the most commonly-used treatments.

NICE Chief Executive Sir Andrew Dillion said, “According to clinical experts, retreatment with platinum-based chemotherapy is the preferred option for relapsed platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.

“The manufacturer of trabectedin [PharmaMar] did not submit any evidence comparing trabectedin with platinum-based chemotherapy, comparing it instead with drug regimens that did not include platinum. This means that we cannot be sure that trabectedin extends patients’ lives for longer than the most routinely used treatments.”

NICE looked at whether the combination treatment should be recommended for NHS use in patients whose ovarian cancer returns more than six months after their initial treatment with chemotherapy.

However, its committee could not be sure that the effectiveness of trabectedin in this group was different from that seen in the wider group of patients for which the drug is licensed.

Consultees can appeal against the proposed recommendation by Friday 25 March.