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NICE recommends Sutent

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended Pfizer's Sutent as a possible first line drug treatment for people with advanced and/or metastatic renal cell carcinoma

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended Pfizer's Sutent (sunitinib) as a possible first line drug treatment for people with advanced and/or metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The new guidance applies to mobile patients who are suitable candidates for immunotherapy.  

Sutent was originally reviewed along with Roche's Avastin (bevacizumab), Bayer's Nexavar (sorafenib), and Wyeth's Torisel (temsirolimus) as part of a multiple technology appraisal. In August 2008, NICE advised against the use of all four drugs for this condition, but has since reassessed how it values medicines intended to extend life in terminal patients. In addition, Pfizer has also offered the initial six-week cycle of treatment with Sutent free of charge to the NHS. Guidance on the other three drugs is scheduled to be published in June.

Patient groups have welcomed the decision. Professor Robert Hawkins of Cancer Research UK said in a statement: "I am delighted that Sutent will be available. It will remove a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty for people diagnosed with renal cancer to know that modern, effective treatment is now available to them."

25th March 2009

From: Healthcare

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