The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended pemetrexed as a first-line option for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The guidance recommends pemetrexed in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of NSCLC that has spread to the surrounding tissues or other parts of the body, or if the disease has been confirmed as an adenocarcinoma or large-cell carcinoma tumour.

Health Technology Evaluation Centre director Dr Carole Longson said that the committee carefully considered testimonies from clinical specialists and patients.

“They concluded that pemetrexed could potentially be an important treatment for this group of patients and represented a cost-effective use of NHS resources,” Longson said.

Pemetrexed is a chemotherapy drug manufactured and marketed by Eli Lilly.

NICE has also recommended that people being treated with pemetrexed for NSCLC who do not meet these criteria should still have the option to continue their therapy.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with around 38,000 people diagnosed every year.