breastcancerNICE issued an appraisal consultation document (ACD) recommending that Novartis’ life extending advanced breast cancer treatment, Afinitor® (everolimus), should not be available to patients on the NHS. Everolimus is the sixth treatment that NICE has turned down for patients with advanced breast cancer since 2011.

Everolimus is the first new licensed therapeutic approach in 15 years offering substantial impact on hormone responsive advanced breast cancer, which affects over 30,000 women in the UK.

Professor Peter Barrett-Lee, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Medical Director, Velindre NHS Trust, Cardiff, said: “Some women with advanced breast cancer unfortunately develop resistance to commonly used hormonal or endocrine therapies. This means their cancer will progress and many will need chemotherapy at this stage with attendant side-effects. However, new and effective treatment options such as everolimus can make a real difference as they circumvent this resistance, slow down cancer cell growth and ultimately extend and enhance patients’ quality of life.”

Everolimus is approved for use in postmenopausal women with oestrogen receptor-positive (ER+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2) advanced breast cancer, in combination with exemestane, that has recurred or progressed following treatment with a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor.