New hope of increased time with loved ones with advancement in lung cancer treatment.
Nivolumab is now available to patients with advanced lung cancer.
Nivolumab is a medication that is used to treat cancer by helping the immune system to fight cancer cells.
It has been reported that Nivolumab helps “disturb” cancers chemical signals by persuading the immune system the cells are healthy tissue. It does not heal the cancer, it helps to increase lung cancer survival time.
Currently, Nivolumab is used in melanoma (skin cancer), blood and kidney cancer, and lung cancer treatment.
Trials are currently being undertaken to see whether Nivolumab can be used as immunotherapy for other types of cancer.
This medication is already offered to patients in Scotland.
NHS England has now confirmed that patients with advanced lung cancer will be eligible for the drug. This is a backtrack as they initially stated that Nivolumab was too expensive, including for lung cancer treatment.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the drug using the fast-track Cancer Drugs Fund. Approximately 1300 people will now have access to Nivolumab.
Despite Nivolumab being reported as effective in helping to treat cancer, more evidence is needed as the extent of benefits remains unclear.
Nivolumab producers, Bristol-Myers Squibb, have agreed to fund it at a lower price whilst additional evidence is gathered on its use as well as efficacy.
Pembrolizumab is another immunotherapy drug used in advanced lung cancer treatment. This was approved and has been available to NHS patients since December 2016.
Nivolumab was brought to the wider public’s attention when AA Gill (Sunday Times restaurant critic) was denied the drug. It was not on the NHS approval list at the time. AA Gill died in December 2016.
AA Gill says:
“...immunotherapy isn't a cure, it's a stretch more life, a considerable bit of life. More life with your kids, more life with your friends, more life holding hands, more life shared, more life spent on earth - but only if you can pay.”
Melanie Lidstone Land responds, “This quote from AA Gill shows how important lung cancer treatment is. Well, treatment for all cancers. Where there is a chance to spend more time with loved ones, it is so precious. We are so pleased that the NHS has approved a drug that can help families living with lung cancer.”
Melanie and her team at Swain & Co Solicitors help those who suffer injury as a result of the misdiagnosis of cancer. Often as a result of which more intrusive treatment is required or where appropriate treatment is not provided quickly enough. Often with devastating consequences.
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