Monday 11 July 2016 at 10:33

Access to new treatment – immunotherapy availability in the UK

Today the Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved two new treatments for some people affected by lung cancer. Lung cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when treatment options are limited. These improvements in treatment offer targeted treatment for those with ALK + tumours and a new treatment option for those with advanced non-small cell squamous tumours.

Nivolumab (trademark Opdivo) is to be made available to people in Scotland with stage 4 squamous non-small cell lung cancer who have had chemotherapy.
Further information is available from our factsheet. (downloadable in the tab on this page) 

Crizotinib (trademark Xalkori) is to be made available to people in Scotland as a first line treatment for those with ALK+ advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
Further information is available in our targeted therapy booklet.

We know from our helpline and online forum that people affected by lung cancer want the best treatment to be made available to offer better quality of life and offer hope of improved survival. Our nurse led helpline is here to answer any questions on treatment, side effects and living with lung cancer. The helpline can be contacted on 0800 358 7200, Monday – Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm. Or you can email us on

“We welcome the SMC decision to allow lung cancer patients in Scotland to receive Nivolumab where this is the appropriate treatment, and we call for this policy to be extended to the rest of the UK”.

-           Lorraine Dallas, Director of Information and Support, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

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