NICE, the healthcare guidance body, has issued new draft guidance recommending enzalutamide (Xtandi, Astellas Pharma) as an option for treating hormone relapsed metastatic prostate cancer in adults.

Commenting on the draft guidance, Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “There are few treatments available for patients at this stage in their cancer so we are very pleased that we are able to produce draft guidance recommending enzalutamide. It is an effective treatment and it also allows patients to be treated at home as it can be taken orally.” 

Enzalutamide works in a different way to other drugs currently available for treating prostate cancer and it is recommended as an option for treating hormone relapsed metastatic prostate cancer in adults, only if their disease has progressed during or after 1 docetaxel-containing chemotherapy regimen and the manufacturer provides enzalutamide with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme. 

Consultees, including the manufacturer, healthcare professionals and members of the public are now able to comment on the preliminary recommendations which are available for public consultation. Comments received during this consultation will be fully considered by the Committee and following this meeting the next draft guidance will be issued. 

Until final guidance is issued, NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments. Once NICE issues its final guidance on a technology, it replaces local recommendations across the country.