UK – Kidney cancer charity slams NICE rejection of Keytruda/Inlyta

MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with Pfizer's Inlyta (axitinib) has been turned down by NICE as first-line treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The anti-PD-1 therapy combo was approved in Europe in September 2019 based on findings from the pivotal Phase III KEYNOTE-426 trial, which demonstrated that the drug reduced the risk of death by 47% compared with sunitinib in the indication.

However, NICE says while “short-term clinical trial evidence” shows that the combination is more effective than sunitinib for people with untreated renal cell carcinoma, “it is uncertain if there is a long-term benefit,” which means that “cost-effectiveness estimates are uncertain”.

Kidney cancer UK has slammed the decision.

“The decision by NICE concerning axitinib and pembrolizumab is extremely disappointing for the kidney cancer community,” said the charity’s health professional nurse Susanna Smith…