NICE recommends Roche’s atezolizumab as treatment for advanced bladder cancer

NICE recommends Roche’s atezolizumab as treatment for advanced bladder cancer

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a Final Appraisal Document (FAD) for the use of Tecentriq®▼(atezolizumab) as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC) who are considered cisplatin ineligible, and whose tumours have a PD-L1 expression of 5% or more.

The recommendation comes after additional clinical evidence which showed that people who have atezolizumab are likely to live up to 8 months longer than those who have platinum-containing chemotherapy was collected as part a Cancer Drugs Fund managed access agreement.

Urothelial carcinoma is cancer of some of the cells which form the inner lining of the bladder, urethra, ureter, or renal pelvis. Urothelial carcinoma is most common in the bladder, and accounts for 90% of bladder cancers. There were 10,300 diagnoses of bladder cancer in 2013, accounting for 1 in every 30 new cases of cancer each year.

Gemma Boni, Head of GU cancer, Roche Products Limited said: “Despite being the eighth most common cancer and seventh most common cause of cancer death in men in the UK, bladder cancer is often overlooked and has long been considered a ‘Cinderella disease’.1,2 However, there remains a significant unmet need for effective treatment options, especially once the disease reaches an advanced stage, at which point patients are limited to chemotherapy. Atezolizumab is the only immunotherapy available via the NHS for people with this specific type of advanced bladder cancer. We are immensely grateful for the collaboration of the clinical community and NICE in helping to ensure patients in the UK can benefit from this effective medicine.”

Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE said: “I am pleased we are able to recommend this life-extending treatment for people with this form of urothelial cancer. The independent appraisal committee heard from the clinical and patient experts that there is an unmet clinical need for people with this form of cancer. They also recognised that people value additional treatment options which have a positive impact not just in terms of extending their life, but in improving their quality of life too.

“Today’s decision comes after additional clinical evidence was collected as part of a managed access agreement through the Cancer Drugs Fund. I am pleased we were able to not only secure access for people with this form of urothelial cancer in the interim but to now recommend it for routine use in the NHS.”


[1] Cancer Research UK. Bladder cancer statistics. Available at [Last accessed Sept 2021].

[2] Hemelrijck, MV, et al. Editorial: Bladder cancer – a Cinderella cancer: advances and remaining research questions. Front Oncol. 2020;10:1749.