The British Health Agency NICE has issued a final appraisal document recommending reimbursement for Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib malate) as a second-line treatment for patients with advanced gastrointestinal stomal tumour.

This recommendation follows NICE’s recently published guidance recommending reimbursement for Sutent as a first-line treatment of advanced kidney cancer.

Pfizer senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs of the oncology business Dr Mace Rothenberg said that NICE’s decision gives hope to patients with GIST who develop resistance to imatinib.

“Insights into the causative pathways involved with cancers like GIST will help us bring Sutent to the right patient at the right time,” Rothenburg said.

The recommendation was provided on the basis of data provided from pivotal phase III trial of Sutent, which was compared against a placebo.

The result of the trial demonstrated that Sutent increased time to tumour progression by almost five months.

Updated analyses of the trial demonstrated a median overall survival of 73.9 weeks for Sutent patients vs. 64.9 weeks for those initially receiving placebo.