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MSD and Eisai’s combination therapy recommended by NICE for advanced endometrial cancer

More than 9,700 people are diagnosed with womb cancer each year in the UK


MSD’s – known as Merck & Co in the US and Canada – Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with Eisai’s Lenvima (lenvatinib) has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to treat certain patients with endometrial cancer.

The combination therapy is specifically indicated for adults with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer whose disease has progressed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy and who cannot have curative surgery or radiotherapy.

The incidence of all womb cancers in the UK has increased by 12% in the last ten years, with over 9,700 people diagnosed with some form of the disease every year.

Endometrial carcinoma is the most common type of womb cancer, and while it often has a better prognosis than other womb cancers if diagnosed early, patients with advanced or recurrent disease face limited treatment options and short survival times.

David Long, head of oncology at MSD UK, said: “Endometrial cancer is one of the few cancers with rising incidence and mortality, and historically there has been limited treatment options for people with advanced stages of the disease.

“We are therefore very pleased that a new treatment option has been made available to patients which will help address this unmet need. We are proud to have worked alongside Eisai, NICE and NHS England to ensure patients can access this treatment.”

The use of the combination is supported by results from clinical trials, which show the regimen can double the time taken for cancer to progress compared with the existing chemotherapy treatment, from just over three and half months to more than seven months.

Overall survival was also significantly longer for patients taking Keytruda and Lenvima, with those receiving the combination living almost 19 months on average compared to just under 12 months on existing chemotherapy.

The NHS said it has agreed commercial deals for two drugs from different manufacturers and will offer the combination therapy to all eligible patients immediately.

Professor Peter Johnson, NHS national cancer director, said: “It is fantastic news that this innovative combination therapy can now offer a new lifeline to hundreds of women living with advanced endometrial cancer, giving hope of precious extra time to live with a better quality of life.”

Article by
Emily Kimber

19th May 2023

From: Regulatory



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