Good news reported in a release by GIST Support UK:
CANCER CHARITY GIST SUPPORT UK CELEBRATE THE NICE APPROVAL OF REGORAFENIB FOR GIST CANCER PATIENTS
Today GIST Support UK, the key charity specifically focused on combating GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumour), celebrated the NICE decision to approve regorafenib, a life extending drug, as a third line treatment for GIST cancer patients in England, ensuring that they have access to the same key drug as provided to patients in Scotland and Wales.
Nic Puntis & Jayne Bressington (on behalf of GIST Support UK) said:
“We welcome the NICE decision to recommend access to regorafenib as it offers greater long-term treatment options for patients with GIST. Importantly, GIST patients in England will now have routine access to this important treatment, joining patients currently living in Scotland and Wales.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to review and approve regorafenib.”
GIST (Gastro-Intestinal Stromal Tumour) is a rare form of cancer which does not respond to the more usual cancer treatments of radio- or chemotherapy. Before the introduction of specialist drugs, the only recourse was surgery. With the more recent introduction of TKI drugs (ie, Tyrosine-kinase inhibitors), options improved.
The first line of treatment, which I have been on for three years now, before and after surgery last February, is imatinib (UK trade name Glivec. However, this is not effective for all varieties of GIST, and even where it is effective, there often comes a point where it is no longer so. In such cases, the second line of treatment is a drug called sunitinib (trade name Sutent). Where this too is not effective, or loses its effectiveness, the third line of treatment is regorafenib.
Until now, only the first two, imatinib and sunitinib, were approved for NHS funding in England under NICE rules. Regorafenib has been available only under the special arrangements of the cancer drugs fund (and even that was achieved only after intensive lobbying by GIST Support UK).
Today’s welcome news means that in future, this life-saving drug will be more securely available.