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Southampton Health Technology Assessments CentreNews

Treatment of lung cancer - SHTAC is critically appraising the company’s submission to NICE on new drug necitumumab

Published: 1 March 2016
Squamous lung cancer tumou
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the UK

SHTAC is assessing the company's evidence submission to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of necitumumab for locally advanced or metastatic squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the UK. It accounts for 13% of all new cancer cases in the UK and is the most common cause of death from cancer. Among lung cancer patients, around one in three patients will be diagnosed with squamous NSCLC. Other types of NSCLC include adenocarcinoma and large-cell carcinoma.

People with squamous NSCLC tend to be older, male, smokers, and to have other diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease. Squamous NSCLC is often diagnosed at a late stage, is more aggressive than non-squamous NSCLC and people diagnosed with it live on average for less than one year. Squamous NSCLC is usually located in the central lung, resulting in bleeding within the lungs and blockage of air passages. People with lung cancer can experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, persistent coughing, and coughing with bloody phlegm.

Current treatments for squamous NSCLC are used to delay progression, to extend patients’ lives and to improve their symptoms and quality of life. Patients are not expected to be cured. These treatment options consist primarily of platinum-based chemotherapy regimens that include one of gemcitabine, paclitaxel, vinorelbine or docetaxel given in combination with either cisplatin or carboplatin. Necitumumab is a new drug for squamous NSCLC and it is given as an additional therapy to gemcitabine combined with cisplatin.

SHTAC is assessing the clinical and cost-effectiveness evidence submitted by the company to NICE for necitumumab as a first-line treatment of locally advanced or metastatic squamous NSCLC. It is expected that NICE will issue guidance on the use of necitumumab for squamous NSCLC in September 2016. For more information on SHTAC’s previous research into lung cancer, please visit our Research page.


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