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Kidney Cancer Scotland News

SMC approves combination therapy for patients in Scotland

Kidney Cancer Scotland add their voice to those praising the Scottish Medicine Consortium’s (SMC) approval of the therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with Inlyta (axitinib) for kidney cancer patients in Scotland. Following positive trials results, the news of this approval offers patient’s better treatment options and outcomes with an improved quality of life.

Maureen (Mo) Johnson

Kidney Cancer Scotland’s health professional nurse Maureen Johnson said: “We are delighted the combination of pembrolizumab and axitinib has been approved by the SMC. This is excellent news for kidney cancer patients in Scotland as trials showed significant improvement in survival and plays an important role in the treatment of kidney cancer. Our community has been closely watching developments in the USA and Europe and have been pleased to see approvals being given. Now, all people in Scotland diagnosed with metastatic disease will have access to the most effective treatment earlier.

“We hope the rest of the UK follows Scotland’s positive lead as we were extremely disappointed for patients in England and Wales when NICE rejected this same combination recently. We look forward to this recommendation being reviewed and reversed as soon as possible.”

Paul Dornan, a Stage 4 patient living in Scotland with chromophobe, a rare form of kidney cancer, said; “I am more than delighted to hear the SMC have approve Pembrolizumab and Axitinib for patients in Scotland. I am living proof of its effectiveness. After three years of fighting metastatic kidney cancer, I was further diagnosed in May 2020 with new metastases in my brain, almost unknown with chromophobe kidney cancer. My oncologist suggested the best course of treatment would be a to join the trial for this combination therapy. I started my treatment at the end of May and to everyone’s delight, my scan in August showed a reduction in the size of all my tumours. This was the first positive news I had received since my diagnoses in 2017. I am in touch with patients in the USA who are on this therapy and like me, many have seen reduction in the size of their tumours.”