NICE has recommended that brentuximab vedotin be made available for more people with CD-30 positive Hodgkin lymphoma after a Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) data collection.

Brentuximab vedotin has been reassessed by NICE after an earlier recommendation calling for more evidence to be gathered on the drug’s value from patients who benefitted from it via the CDF.

Meindert Boysen, director of the NICE centre for health technology evaluation, said: “Stem cell therapy gives people with Hodgkin lymphoma the best chance of survival but many will not be fit enough to have this and for them options are limited. We are delighted that brentuximab vedotin can now be made more widely available on the NHS for more people with Hodgkin lymphoma. This treatment will help those who are unable to receive other therapies and improve their survival.”

In June 2017, brentuximab vedotin was recommended as an option for treating people with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma after stem cell therapy.

For people who had undergone 2 previous therapies and who could not have stem cell transplant or chemotherapy, the cost-effectiveness evidence for brentuximab vedotin was less clear. For this patient group, NICE asked for more data on the drug’s effectiveness from people that had received it via the CDF.

NICE has reviewed the additional data that was collected from the CDF by Public Health England, alongside newer data and a confidential discounted price submitted by the company, and now says that brentuximab vedotin is cost effective and should be offered to these patients routinely on the NHS.

Brentuximab vedotin will continue to get funding via the CDF whilst it moves to routine NHS commissioning. The drug will be available routinely on the NHS 90 days after NICE publishes final guidance.

Brentuximab vedotin is administered intravenously as a 30 minute infusion and the list price is around £31,000 for a single course of treatment. The NHS will pay a confidential discounted price.
Hodgkin lymphoma is a rare cancer that develops in the lymphatic system and mostly affects young adults in their early 20s and older adults over the age of 70.

Leukaemia recommendations

NICE has also today recommended two other drugs midostaurin (Rydapt, Novartis) and arsenic trioxide (Trisenox, Teva) as options for adults with certain types of leukaemia.

Meindert Boysen, said: “For the past 30 years, treatments for leukaemia have changed very little. With our positive recommendations for midostaurin and arsenic trioxide we are pleased to offer patients with leukaemia more treatments than ever before.”

Midostaurin is recommended as a cost-effective option for people who have acute FLT-3 mutation positive myeloid leukaemia with the company’s confidential discounted price. It is a first of its kind treatment which targets tyrosine kinase FLT3, a protein often associated with acute myeloid leukaemia. The drug was shown to extend life by around four years when used in combination with chemotherapy.

It is estimated that 160 people a year would be eligible for midostaurin in England and Wales.

Arsenic trioxide has been recommended as a cost-effective option for people with untreated, relapsed or refractory acute promyelocytic leukaemia, a type of myeloid leukaemia which reduces the number of healthy red and white blood cells.

It estimated that around 140 people each year in England will be eligible to receive arsenic trioxide.

Myeloid leukaemias are cancers of the bone marrow. According to Cancer Research UK there were 2,662 diagnoses of acute myeloid leukaemia in England in 2015.