Roche’s Perjeta gets okay in UK for early breast cancer

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The licence on Roche’s Perjeta has been expanded by regulators in the UK to be used by women with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

Perjeta (pertuzumab), which is taken with Roche’s Herceptin (trastuzumab), was initially licensed for previously-untreated advanced HER2-positive breast cancer. It can now also be used pre-surgery for locally advanced, inflammatory or early-stage disease at high risk of recurrence, a move which the company says could help more than 1,800 patients a year in the UK.

Perjeta has already shown the longest survival benefit in patients with previously untreated advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, “so it is very encouraging to see its authorisation in an earlier setting in order to further improve the long-term outcomes for patients with this aggressive disease,” said Andrew Wardley at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.

Perjeta has been deemed too expensive by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for routine NHS use, but is still available to patients with previously-untreated advanced disease through England’s Cancer Drugs Fund.