Thumbs up for MabThera

Roche’s MabThera (rituximab) has been recommended in combination with a number of chemotherapy treatments for people with advanced follicular lymphoma in new draft guidance.

Evidence provided by Roche demonstrated that MabThera helps people live longer and improves their quality of life when compared to chemotherapy alone.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, Clinical and Public Health Director at NICE, says the Institute is “very pleased” to recommend the medication and extend the range of choice available to patients.

In addition, NICE also considered the use of MabThera plus chlorambucil for advanced follicular lymphoma and concluded that it is also an appropriate use of NHS resources.

The appraisal is a review of NICE technology appraisal 110 which recommends the use of MabThera plus chemotherapy treatments cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisolone (CVP) as an option for first-line induction therapy for symptomatic stage III-IV follicular lymphoma.

But in 2008 the marketing authorisation for MabThera was revised to allow the use of a wider range of chemotherapy regimens. The subsequent review from NICE now provisionally adds four other chemotherapy, plus MabThera, options for patients.

Final guidance is now expected in January 2012.