Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login


Advanced kidney cancer drug approved by NICE for use on NHS

Micrograph of kidney cancer cells


A new treatment approved for use on the NHS in England and Wales could prolong the life expectancy of patients with advanced kidney cancer, according to experts.

Cabozantinib (Cabometyx, Ipsen), which was approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on 10 July, is a small molecule that works by inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels within a tumour, consequently preventing it from spreading any further.

For patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which starts in cells lining the small tubes in the kidney that help to make urine and spreads to other parts of the kidney, the new treatment offers an increased chance of improved, progression-free survival.

It was approved for use in Scotland in June 2017.

Tom Powles, professor of medical oncology at Barts Cancer Institute, said: “The NICE approval of cabozantinib is an important decision for advanced kidney cancer patients as it is one of the few drugs in this disease which extends survival.

“This approval will help patients in an area of unmet need. Further research is needed to continue the progress towards long-term remissions and cure.”

NICE initially assessed the drug in February 2017, but felt it could not recommend it at that time due to unreliable clinical evidence from the pharmaceutical company, Ipsen. The company revised its submission to strengthen the evidence, and the NICE committee was then able to conclude that cabozantinib is a cost-effective, viable treatment option for people with advanced RCC.

“There are limited treatment option available for people who have advanced kidney cancer,” says Carole Longson, director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE. “I am very pleased that the new evidence submitted means we can recommend cabozantinib.”

In August 2016, along with lenvatinib (marketed as Kisplyx), cabozantinib was recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for fast track approval across the EU as they both target patients with an “unmet medical need”

It is estimated that 1,000 patients with RCC will be eligible for treatment with the new drug.

Nick Turkentine, chief executive of Kidney Cancer UK, said the approval would bring the charity one step closer to fighting kidney cancer, which is rapidly on the rise in the UK.

“There is a clear unmet need for treatments of patients with late-stage disease and as such, the approval of this effective therapy option offers new hope for patients and their families,” he said.

According to Cancer Research UK, kidney cancer is the 7th most common cancer in the UK (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) with around 12,500 kidney cancers being diagnosed in the UK in 2014.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203136

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £37.00Buy now
  • FASTtrack: Pharmacology

    FASTtrack: Pharmacology

    FASTtrack: Pharmacology is a study guide providing an account of drug action, as well as dealing with molecular pharmacology at a more advanced level.

    £24.00Buy now
  • Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver assists practitioners in making pragmatic choices for their patients. It enables you to assess liver function and covers the principles of drug use in liver disease.

    £37.00Buy now
  • Drugs in Use

    Drugs in Use

    Optimise drug therapy for your patients. These case studies help you bridge the gap between theoretical medicines knowledge and practical applications.

    £42.00Buy now
  • Essentials of Pharmacy Management

    Essentials of Pharmacy Management

    Essentials of Pharmacy Management is an accessible introduction to management. It provides a jump-start to leadership roles and career advancement.

    £42.00Buy now
  • FASTtrack: Pharmaceutics - Drug Delivery and Targeting

    FASTtrack: Pharmaceutics - Drug Delivery and Targeting

    Pharmaceutics: Drug Delivery and Targeting systematically reviews important concepts for drug delivery systems and targeting of drugs.

    £24.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Micrograph of kidney cancer cells
  • woman smoking ecigarette ss 17

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.