NICE ban avastin.

Hi guys I notice in the medical press today that NICE have taken a tough stance on avastin.,saying it is not cost effective and that professionals are “expected” to follow the guidance.NICE states there is no evidence that combination of another drug with avastin is more effective than the other drug alone. i thjink this means no new prescription of Avastin on the NHS from today! Pamx

Just to add there has also ben published research (summary in BMj ) that faslodex and arimidex in combination is more effective the the drugs given sequentially in increasing time to relapse. I guess something else to discuss with your oncologist. Pamx

Many Thanks for keeping us informed.

Yes and I think the Avastin debacle not only shows politicking at work, but also demonstrates the way medical science can be manipulated to provide the answer desired by a particular interest. Avastin is an an anti-angiogenic drug, intended to inhibit the spread of cancer, by preventing a tumour from establishing a blood supply. Consequently, it isn’t really designed for someone who already has extensive metastates and is at the end of their life - yet this is precisely the criteria medical science have used to evaluate it.

Lemon grove: not sure your quote is correct. I have been on the Avastin trial, and as I understand it I have been put on the drug as I am her 2-. I don’t have mets and I have not been told I’m at the end of my life!!

Katsteer, I think Lemongove is making the same point as you :slight_smile:

I just had Avastin approved coincidentally on 22nd Aug! & had my first dose yesterday. I have Triple negative BC & as there is no other treatment for me other than chemo my ONC felt it would help. I have secondaries just DX in my neck & chest nodes plus lung mets & possible bones all in my chest area. I saw headlines earlier in the year saying they weren’t approving it for BC but it is generally used more for colon & lung cancer at the moment. however it is still not on their approved list & I think special applications have to be made for these too. I know it is V expensive at aroung £1800 a dose I think? (don’t quote me) I could be that I got it as there is the possibility TN BC can sometimes (10-15% chance) be resistant to chemo & if that is the case it is my only hope of extending life but only by a few more months - GOD that does sound depressing & scary when I write it. He was being VERY honest with me… I think the extension of life with it is still only by months & therefore in most cases they feel the benefit is usually so minimal it is not cost effective. I also feel in my individual case on a cynical note they haven’t already had the shell out for tamoxifen or herceptin so I should at least get my fair share if it helps. I am of course hoping the chemo will work as if it does I could do OK as TN that does respond responds well. - here’s hoping XX

Re testing in people with METS I think that may be fairly standard as they are all people who don’t have anything to loose so to speak. I think a lot of drugs get tested in this way - herceptin & tamoxifen started this way I think then got transferred to front line treatment but again don’t quote me

Katsteer NICE have banned the use of Avastin on the grounds that it is not cost effective. They argue that the high cost, and side effects are not justified, because it only extends life by a few extra weeks. My point is, that in both the UK and the US, research has focused on how many extra weeks life it provides, rather than how successful it is at inhibiting metastases.
If you go onto the US BC forums, you will find lots of women who are desolate that Avastin has been banned, because they believe the drug has prevented metastases, and kept them alive. But these success stories are not translated into the research, because these people are still alive.

Millykins, have you discussed the possibility of having Iressa/gefitinib? Might be worth looking into.