The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published final guidance recommending the use of topotecan in combination with cisplatin as a treatment option for women with cervical cancer.

The recommendation to use the treatment manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline was given for women with recurrent or stage IVB cervical cancer who have not previously received cisplatin.

Health Technology Evaluation Centre director Dr Carole Longson said that the cost of topotecan in relation to how well it works is an effective use of National Health Service resources.

“A range of therapies are used to treat the cancer with no single best-practice treatment. Today’s guidance means that those patients who meet the above criteria will have a further treatment option,” Longson said.

The independent Appraisal Committee considered evidence on the effectiveness of topotecan as a treatment for women with cervical cancer, as well as evidence from patients that highlighted the importance of having a number of treatment options because one may be more suitable than others for the individual patient.

Topotecan prevents DNA replication in cancer cells by inhibiting the enzyme topoisomerase I, which helps to separate and repair the DNA in cells when they divide.