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Lung cancer drug osimertinib recommended for lung cancer patients

On Friday [11 September 2020], NICE published new draft guidance recommending the use of lung cancer drug osimertinib for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with an EGFR mutation) for NHS patients.

15 September 2020

Around 1800 people in England have advanced EGFR-positive NSCLC, and the majority are set to benefit from the new recommendations.

Jane Davey, 70, shared her experience of the drug and welcomed the news.

Jane had always been fit and healthy, riding her bike everywhere, and playing tennis and padel tennis regularly. So when she started experiencing severe shortness of breath she knew something was wrong. 

In September 2018 she was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer which was completely blocking one of her airways. She came to The Royal Marsden where Professor Sanjay Popat recommended treatment with osimertinib.

“It was like a miracle,” Jane says. “Within five days of taking the drug, I could breathe again. I went from coughing all the time and being completely breathless, unable to hold a conversation easily, to being able to breathe. Before long, I was back riding my bike and playing tennis. It was truly extraordinary. There have been some long-lasting side-effects but nothing that isn’t manageable, and I consider them a small price to pay.”

Professor Sanjay Popat, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: “After what has been a very difficult year for people living with cancer, I am delighted and relieved that osimertinib can now be offered as a first-line treatment to lung cancer patients with EGFRm NSCLC. Aside from the unprecedented survival benefit, osimertinib is better tolerated by patients compared to first-generation medicines in the same class, and has also been shown to impact cancer that has spread to the brain. The difference that these factors make to patients’ quality of life cannot be under-estimated.”

 

I am delighted and relieved that osimertinib can now be offered as a first-line treatment to lung cancer patients with EGFRm NSCLC.

Professor Sanjay Popat, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden