Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMS) immunotherapy drug Opdivo (nivolumab) has become the first to be cleared for NHS use alongside chemotherapy as a pre-surgery (neoadjuvant) therapy for patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
NICE has decided that Opdivo can be used alongside chemotherapy to reduce the size of NSCLC tumours prior to surgery, reducing the chances of disease recurrence.
Currently, surgery is the standard of care for NSCLC, however up to 55% of patients who undergo surgery experience disease recurrence and ultimately die of the disease. BMS estimates that 4,800 patients in the UK could be eligible for its new treatments.
NICE’s recommendation follows positive results from the phase 3 CheckMate-816 study, which showed a 37% reduction in the risk of progression, recurrence or death when patients were treated with Opdivo and chemotherapy prior to surgery compared to chemotherapy alone.
Paula Chadwick, chief executive officer of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, commented, “Being diagnosed with lung cancer is incredibly traumatic. Being told it has returned after undergoing curative-intent treatment is nothing short of devastating, so we are delighted that treatments to reduce the risk of recurrence are being made available to people with early-stage NSCLC before surgery, and with the hope that improved outcomes are possible.”
Pharmaceutical Industry news, analysis and insights