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New Drug Treatment Approved For Asbestos-Related Cancer Patients in England and Wales

By July 28, 2022 No Comments

Mesothelioma UK, the national asbestos-related cancer charity, has welcomed the approval of the first immunotherapy treatment for 14 years to be made available by the NHS for mesothelioma patients in England and Wales.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that begins in the tissue mesothelium that lines the lungs, heart, stomach, and other organs. This causes painful cough, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, abdominal pain, and weight loss.

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has issued a Final Appraisal document recommending the combination of Nivolumab plus Ipilimumab for the first-line treatment of adult patients with unresectable malignant pleural Mesothelioma in England and Wales. Another recommendation by NICE, was to extend the guidance of Nivolumab, plus Ipilimumab, to treat rarer forms of Mesothelioma.

In Phase 3 of the trial, the Nivolumab and Ipilimumab combined immunotherapy showed improved three-year overall survival rates in comparison to chemotherapy. 80% of Mesothelioma cases is caused by exposure within the workplace. It has been described as one of the “great workplace tragedies of modern times” by The Work and Pensions Select Committee.

The Chief Executive at Mesothelioma UK, Liz Darlison MBE has stated “Mesothelioma is a devastating and hard to treat disease with people often diagnosed at a late stage and typically facing a poor prognosis. This decision from NICE has the potential to change the outlook for patients with MPM.”

The Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Bristol and Chair of Mesothelioma UK also said ““Combination immunotherapy with Ipilimumab/Nivolumab has shown superiority over chemotherapy and the decision to approve this provides a new routine available standard of care for NHS patients. This progress would not be possible without the Checkmate 743 trial and underlines the importance of clinical trials and the value of patient participation. We are very grateful to patients that enter clinical trials, which often requires them to take on the extra burden of trial visits, tests and travel, to help advance research and treatment for us all.”

Read full article here.

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