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NICE approves Sorafenib

The British Liver Trust is pleased that its submission to the  National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) regarding sorafenib (Nexavar) on behalf of patients has been listened to and that NICE have now approved the drug for use in England.

Sorafenib is for patients with a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently there is often no other medicine available for these patients apart from palliative care and this drug can help improve the quality of their life and alleviate some of the symptoms. The average age of death for people suffering from the condition is only 58 and so any increase in length of life is very important. It is estimated that the treatment extends life by at least three months. It works by stopping the proteins on the surface of cells to inhibit the growth of tumors.

Andrew Langford, the Trust’s Chief Executive said “We welcome NICE’s decision to recommend access to sorafenib in England. Treatment options for patients with advanced liver cancer have been very limited, but this decision will make sorafenib, which is currently the only approved pharmacological option for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, more easily available and bring greater long-term certainty for patients. Evidence shows that outcomes for people with advanced liver cancer are particularly poor, so this is an important step.”

Read the NICE press release here

Read the NICE guidance documents here

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