New approved lung cancer treatment is first of its kind

The targeted therapy, crizotinib, is now available for patients with ROS1-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after receiving approval from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today.

Currently used to treat ALK positive lung cancer patients, crizotinib is the first drug to be made available via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) for ROS1-positive patients in England and Wales too.

Whilst not curative, the therapy looks to shrink or slow the growth of tumours by targeting a specific protein that is only found in cancerous cells. It is administered orally, therefore minimising the need to attend hospital for treatment.

"We know ALK positive patients who are benefitting from crizotinib so the prospect that this could now be replicated for people is another step forward in our war on lung cancer."
Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, is delighted by the news:

“We are pleased to hear NICE has approved the targeted therapy, crizotinib, for ROS1 positive patients in England and Wales.

“We know ALK positive patients who are benefitting from crizotinib so the prospect that this could now be replicated for people is another step forward in our war on lung cancer.”

How can patients receive this new treatment?

Crizotinib is now available to patients with ROS1 positive non small cell lung cancer via the Cancer Drug Fund
Crizotinib is now available to patients with ROS1 positive non small cell lung cancer via the Cancer Drug Fund

In the first instance, crizotinib will be made available via the CDF. In order to receive this treatment, your specialist applies to the CDF on your behalf if they believe this is the best treatment for you.

They base this decision on three primary factors:

  • Your type and stage of cancer
  • Any treatments you have had before
  • Your general health.

The application is completed online via a simple form. As soon as your specialist submits the form, they should get immediate confirmation that you can start the drug.

If you have any questions, you can call our freephone nurse-led helpline on 0800 358 7200.

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