UK – NICE backs Roche’s Kadcyla for HER2-positive early breast cancer

Roche's Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine)should soon be available on the NHS as a treatment option for patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer having won the backing of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Around 7,000 people are diagnosed each year in England with early breast cancer have HER2-positive disease. If untreated, it is associated with increased tumour size, a higher risk of disease return and poorer clinical outcomes compared to HER2-negative disease.

NICE’s appraisal is considering use of the drug in people who have already had neoadjuvant therapy to shrink their tumour, but where some cancer cells still remain in the breast or surrounding lymph nodes prior to surgery to remove the tumour. These people are at higher risk of the disease coming back.

Clinical trial evidence shows that in people who still have some cancer cells remaining after neoadjuvant therapy with a taxane (a type of chemotherapy) and HER2-targeted treatment, Kadcyla increases the time people remain free of disease compared with trastuzumab alone, the Institute noted…