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NICE recommend drug for routine NHS use

The Bloodwise logo. Bloodwise appears in black text against a white background
Posted by
09 Feb 2018

NICE approves use of Gazyvaro for treatment of follicular lymphoma on NHS in England and Wales

NICE drug treatment approved

Bloodwise welcomes the news that patients with follicular lymphoma in England and Wales will benefit from a new immunotherapy treatment called Gazyvaro, after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued a positive Final Appraisal Determination (FAD) recommending the drug for routine use on the NHS. 

Gazyvaro (the brand name for obinutuzumab) has been recommended for use in combination with chemotherapy for previously-untreated patients with advanced stage follicular lymphoma.

Dr Alasdair Rankin, Director of Research at the blood cancer research charity Bloodwise, said: “This is good news for all people with follicular lymphoma and their families. Follicular lymphoma is a slow developing and currently incurable blood cancer. Around 2,000 people will be diagnosed with follicular lymphoma each year in the UK. While not everyone will need to start treatment immediately, the knowledge that doctors will have the most effective and appropriate treatment options available when they do is really important to patients.”

The overall aim of treatment for follicular lymphoma is to get as good a response as possible in terms of shrinking the lumps caused by the lymphoma, with the fewest side effects. Most people who do need treatment will go into remission and might be in remission for a long time. However, it’s likely that the lymphoma will return at some point and then further treatment will be necessary.

Standard of care for people with advanced stage lymphoma who have symptoms at diagnosis, or show signs of the disease progressing, has been a combination of chemotherapy (CVP or bendamustine) with a monoclonal antibody called rituximab.

Gazyvaro is a ‘second generation’ monoclonal antibody that works in a different way to rituximab. Clinical trial results have shown that Gazyvaro-based immunochemotherapy can give patients with follicular lymphoma longer periods of remission than rituximab-based immunochemotherapy.

In 2015 Gazyvaro was approved by NICE for the treatment of NHS patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Details on the NICE decision can be found here

More information on the symptoms and treatment of follicular lymphoma is available here

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