Avastin turned down for advanced ovarian cancer

Avastin 5 Roche’s Avastin (bevacizumab) has not been recommended by NHS in draft guidance as a treatment option for advanced ovarian cancer.

Although NICE confirmed the clinical benefits of the treatment it claimed its high cost was too much to justify its use on the NHS.

Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive, said evidence supplied by Roche “did not show that bevacizumab justifies its very high cost and could not be recommended.”

Avastin was analysed as a treatment option in women whose cancer had returned six months or more after initial treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy.

Ovarian cancer is among the top five most common cancers in women in the UK. In 2010, there were more than 7,000 new cases diagnosed.

NICE’s Appraisal Committee found Avastin may help the delay of cancer in patients for a limited time. But determined its cost was too much to expect the NHS to pay.

“We understand there are limited treatment options available to women with recurrent advanced ovarian cancer and it is always disappointing when we are not able to recommend a treatment,” said Sir Andrew. “However, it is important to remember that there are other treatments already available in the NHS for treating this condition.”