Kidney Cancer UK hail NICE recommendation for nivolumab as “red letter day for kidney cancer patients”

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Leading UK kidney cancer charity, Kidney Cancer UK, is delighted that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended nivolumab to be made available to late-stage kidney cancer patients through the NHS.

The recommendation means that the lives of thousands of kidney cancer patients, who may have faced an early death, will be extended.

Data show that Bristol-Myers Squibb’s nivolumab offers a higher quality of life for patients as it has fewer side-effects, has a less intense regime of treatment, and offers extended life expectancy to some patients with advanced stage kidney cancer. 

In 2013 more than 11,800 people were diagnosed with kidney cancer, around 33 people each day. The incidence of the disease has been steadily increasing in the UK, mainly attributed to lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking.

Ed Gerrard, a stage-four terminal kidney cancer patient who currently has a life expectancy of six months, said: “The NHS has previously funded two front line drugs (sutent and axitinib); when these fail there is nothing else. Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel for people like me for whom the aforementioned drugs have failed. As a father of two young children I am delighted that nivolumab will be available, it could allow me invaluable extra months of life with my boys.”

Nick Turkentine, CEO of Kidney Cancer UK, said: “This is a red letter day for kidney cancer patients; present and future.”