Advanced kidney cancer can now be treated with a new drug called Votrient (pazopanib), recommends National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), provided the patients meet certain criteria, including no previous cytokine therapy.
Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to offer 12.5% discount on the list price to the NHS. A clinical trial is being conducted to compare pazopanib to sunitinib (Sutent), which is already approved. GSK has guaranteed a financial rebate if Votrient proves to be inferior to Sutent in the clinical trial. Director of health technology evaluation centre at Nice, Dr Carole Longson, said, "Sunitinib is recommended by Nice for first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma. Pazopanib will offer patients an additional option and, for some, a more favourable side effect profile."
More than 8,000 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed per year in the UK. About half of these cases will lead to death. Almost 4 of 10 patients are diagnosed only when their cancer reaches an advanced stage.