Nivolumab available to hundreds of patients with head and neck cancer

Nivolumab seems to be causing quite the stir in recent news.

Recently, NICE and NHS Wales have approved the drugs for use with patients with lung cancer.

Nivolumab works by targeting proteins and stimulating the body’s immune systems so it attacks cancerous cells.

Originally, evidence supporting the use of nivolumab to treat patients with head and neck cancer was uncertain. However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) invited Bristol-Myers Squibb submit a CDF proposal that addressed the uncertainties in evidence.

Therefore, whilst the drug is with the CDF, head and neck cancer patients now have access to the it via the NHS. During the time the drug is with the CDF, further data will be collected on the suitability for head and neck cancer patients. A clinical trial will also take place that will address the uncertainties in using nivolumab to treat head and neck cancer.

Speaking on the drug, Professor Carole Longson, director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE said:

“Nivolumab is an innovative drug that continues to draw attention, but its clinical evidence for some types of cancer can be uncertain. I am pleased the company has worked with us and NHS England to develop a managed access agreement and that we have found a way to provide for patients despite these uncertainties.”

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