Nivolumab treatment cleared for off-label use with mesothelioma patients in Scotland

Decision made by National Cancer Medicines Advisory Group for asbestos-related cancer patients

The National Cancer Medicines Advisory Group (NCMAG) has supported the off-label use of nivolumab in Scotland for the treatment of mesothelioma, the asbestos-related cancer.

Nivolumab is an immunotherapy-based cancer treatment and this decision will allow clinicians in Scotland to prescribe the drug for patients diagnosed with pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma. It will help with the treatment of second or subsequent line in patients whose disease has progressed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy works by blocking a protein that stops the immune system from working properly and attacking cancer cells. It helps to make a patient’s immune system find and kill cancer cells.

In a statement, the NCMAG said: ‘After consideration of all the available evidence regarding the clinical benefits and harms, the Council were satisfied with the clinical effectiveness case for nivolumab in the proposed population’.

Carolyn MacRae, Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist Team Lead, Scotland said: “Mesothelioma UK is delighted with this decision and commends the NCMAG on accepting the use of this clinically proven treatment. Mesothelioma is a cancer related to exposure to asbestos and the UK has the highest incidence of the disease in the world with around 2,700 people diagnosed each year.

“Use of nivolumab immunotherapy treatment has been proven in the CONFIRM clinical trial to provide significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall patient survival.

“Thank you to the NCMAG along with everyone who has made this possible including the clinical and research teams and in particular every patient who participated in the CONFIRM trial for helping advance the treatment and care of those affected by this disease.”

This advice applies only in relation to pricing agreements in NHS Scotland.

October 27, 2023

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