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Southampton Health Technology Assessments CentreNews

SHTAC is critically appraising manufacturer’s submission to NICE on treatment for multiple myeloma

Published: 28 March 2013
Treatments for multiple myeloma

SHTAC is assessing the clinical-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of bortezomib for the treatment of multiple myeloma for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Single Technology Appraisal process.

SHTAC is preparing an evidence review for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to inform their Single Technology Appraisal programme. The review will evaluate the anti-cancer drug bortezomib (in combination with other chemotherapy drugs) for induction therapy prior to high dose chemotherapy (HDT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for the treatment of multiple myeloma. The treatment is aimed at people with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are eligible for induction therapy, followed by HDT and ASCT.

Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that arises from plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) in the bone marrow. Myeloma cells produce large quantities of an abnormal antibody that is not able to fight infection, and a build up of these cells interferes with the production of normal blood cells. They also have the ability to spread throughout the bone marrow and into the bone. The term multiple myeloma refers to the presence of more than one site of affected bone at the time of diagnosis. People with multiple myeloma can experience bone fractures, tiredness (due to anaemia), infections, hypercalcaemia (too much calcium in the blood) and kidney problems. Although multiple myeloma is an incurable disease, it can be treated with the aim of extending both the length and quality of life.

Bortezomib is an anti-cancer drug that kills the myeloma cells and reduces tumour growth. It is currently used for multiple myeloma patients who are not eligible for intensive induction therapy and for patients who have received prior treatment.

NICE is expected to issue guidance on bortezomib to the health service in England and Wales in January 2014.

For more information on SHTAC's research into multiple myeloma cancer, please visit our Research page.  

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