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Kidney Cancer UK News

pembrolizumab with axitinib Feat image

NICE rejects pembro+axitinib therapy for aRCC

Kidney cancer community strongly disagrees with NICE decision not to approve pembrolizumab with axitinib therapy

Kidney Cancer UK, the UK’s largest kidney cancer charity is adding its voice of disappointment to the news that NICE have not approved the use of pembrolizumab with axitinib for untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Professor Thomas Powles, Consultant Medical Oncologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London said; “axitinib and pembrolizumab improves survival significantly and has an important role to play in the treatment of kidney cancer. Rejecting the most active cancer treatments is disappointing for patients.

Mike Lee, a kidney cancer patient with aggressive mRCC who was part of the drug trial, said; “I strongly disagree with NICE’s decision not to approve this combination therapy as a first line treatment as it has been shown to be very effective for many patients. My personal experience was extremely positive. After being on the trial my first scan at 12 weeks showed my tumours had shrunk by 60 per cent, I experienced no significant adverse side effects and my quality of life was unaffected. This combination has been accepted in other countries, including the USA, and I’m sure like me kidney cancer patients in England and Wales are left wondering; ‘why not us?’”

Susanna Smith, Kidney Cancer UK’s Health Professional nurse, concluded; “The decision by NICE concerning axitinib and pembrolizumab is extremely disappointing for the kidney cancer community. This is a combination which is showed great results in the clinical trial and has been very well tolerated by people. The combination has been used widely in the USA to great success since its approval in April 2019 so unfortunately this decision will be leave us lagging behind in proving affective, cutting edge treatment options for patients in England and Wales.”