Funding Breakthrough in GIST Cancer Treatment

Good news reported in a release by GIST Support UK:


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.

Related Posts

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GIST and Imatinib in the News

One year on from GIST surgery: (1) Diagnosis and early treatment

One year on from GIST surgery: (2) Surgery


This Study Says We Might Actually Avoid Catastrophic Climate Change

A combination of a “revolution” in renewable energy, a faster-than-expected reduction in carbon emissions, and slower-than-expected warming mean the world could realistically meet the highly ambitious Paris climate targets, according to research by the UK Met Office.

The 2016 Paris agreement set world governments the goal of keeping global warming to “well below” 2°C above the preindustrial average, with an “aspiration” of keeping it to less than 1.5°C. The agreement was met with surprise from climate scientists, many of whom thought its ambitions were unrealistic.

However, the new research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, has found that those ambitions are more realistic than previously believed. In combination with an astonishingly rapid uptake in renewable energy technologies, according to the paper, this means the world has a roughly 2-in-3 chance of meeting the goals, given “ambitious” but realistic reductions in emissions. One researcher who last year said that the goals were “incompatible with democracy” has now revised his view.

More at: Buzzfeed