- Arts Lab back at Cancerkin
- NICE publishes new recommendations on the use of bevacizumab (Avastin)
Arts Lab back at Cancerkin
We are pleased to welcome back Mary-Anne Paterson, who will be running another session of art workshops, starting on Wednesday 5th, at 11am-1pm. Past participants have provided feedback saying that these sessions are huge fun and helped reduce anxiety and stress whilst increasing their self-esteem. Mary-Anne’s previous sessions were very popular, and we are thrilled to be able to offer another series of workshops. For more information, please contact Carissa on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7830 2323.
NICE publishes new recommendations on the use of bevacizumab (Avastin)
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published new recommendations on the use of bevacizumab, better known as Avastin, as a treatment for breast cancer that has spread.
In these cases, they recommend that Avastin – when used in conjunction with the chemotherapy drug capecitabine – should not be used as an initial treatment for people for whom other chemotherapy options are not considered appropriate.
The development of this recommendation included a review of all available evidence, as well as a public consultation, and the final guideline were made on the basis that there is little evidence the combination works better than cheaper drugs. Speaking about the decision, Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE’s chief executive said “Evidence presented to the independent Appraisal Committee did not conclusively show that bevacizumab, in combination with capecitabine, could improve overall survival or improve a patient’s quality of life more than current treatment. These uncertainties, combined with the high cost of bevacizumab, mean the drug simply isn’t cost-effective”.
Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, noted that Avastin is an ‘expensive drug’ and there was little evidence that the benefits outweigh the risks of taking the drug for the majority of patients, which he described as a ‘disappointing’ situation.
He also noted that “doctors can apply for their patients to receive the drug if they believe it will benefit them, through the cancer drugs fund in England, and through individual patient treatment requests in the rest of the UK.”
Dr Rachel Greig, Senior Policy Officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, commented that the recommendation ‘was a difficult decision for NICE to make as this treatment combination can cause serious side effects and there is no evidence to show how this may affect a patient’s quality of life.’