The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance recommending the use of Pfizer’s sunitinib for gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs).

The guidance recommends sunitinib as a possible treatment for people with non-operable or metastatic GIST in cases where treatment with imatinib has stopped working, or was not suitable.

NICE clinical and public health director Peter Littlejohns said that GISTs are difficult to diagnose.

“Today’s guidance provides these patients with a further treatment option and represents a positive move by the manufacturer, who, by reducing the cost the NHS will have to pay for this treatment, will enable as many eligible patients as possible to access it,” Littlejohns said.

Sunitinib received US Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma and imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal tumour in 2066, the first cancer drug to be approved for two different indications.