Disappointment for Men With Advanced Prostate Cancer As Life-Extending Drug[1]Refused by NICE

GUILDFORD, England, May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Warning of an emerging 'postcode lottery' for men with advanced prostate cancer as NICE upholds its decision not to approve JEVTANA[®▼](cabazitaxel) for use on the NHS

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has announced today that its decision not to approve JEVTANA[®▼] (cabazitaxel) for use on the NHS will be upheld, following an appeal from Sanofi. This decision could effectively prevent thousands of men in the UK with advanced prostate cancer from accessing this life-extending treatment[1], as only 7 out of the 10 Cancer Drugs Funds in England offer unrestricted access to JEVTANA and the devolved nations, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have no similar fund in place.

Dr Jasmin Hussein, Oncology Medical Manager, Sanofi UK comments: "JEVTANA offers an important new treatment option with significant clinical and improved quality of life benefits for men with advanced prostate cancer[1,2]. Today's decision by NICE is a major setback for these patients who have few treatment options."

JEVTANA is the first of recently licensed drugs for the treatment of metastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer (mHRPC) to significantly extend overall survival compared to mitoxantrone in men whose disease has progressed during or after treatment containing docetaxel (15.1 months median overall survival vs. 12.7 months in the control arm; HR=0.70 (95% CI; 0.59-0.83); P<0.0001)[1]. Men with this stage of cancer typically have a poor prognosis and until recently there have been no licensed treatments available to extend life[3]. JEVTANA represents a significant therapeutic advance in this regard.

Professor Jonathan Waxman, Imperial College London, comments "This decision seeks to limit what we as clinicians can do for our patients and their families. The cost argument on which NICE bases their decision is false, giving a much higher estimate of true cost than applies in reality. As a result yet another successful and effective cancer treatment is denied our patients, a mortifying blow to cancer care in England. As the only route to access is now the Cancer Drugs Fund, a temporary arrangement that operates very differently around the country, I fear we're heading towards a re-emergence of the postcode lottery."

Prostate cancer patients, their families and charities are now waiting for NICE to issue their decision on abiraterone, another life-extending treatment, which is due imminently. In February 2012, NICE issued a negative draft decision for abiraterone as it was deemed the drug did not meet the end of life criteria for reimbursement.  

Emma Malcolm, Chief Executive, Prostate Action said "Cabazitaxel is one of only two licensed drugs available in the UK that offers the hope of precious extra time and quality of life benefits to men living with advanced prostate cancer. NICE's decision not to recommend this drug means that men in England with advanced prostate cancer have to access it through the Cancer Drugs Fund. We know that there are inconsistencies across the country with how this fund is awarded which means some men will only be able to access one of these drugs in some areas. Men with advanced prostate cancer have so few treatment options available to them that they should be able to access both of these new treatments."

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Notes to Editor:

  1. The Prostate Cancer Charity has issued a press release in regards to this NICE decision - please contact the press office on 020 8222 7136 for a copy


  1. De Bono JS, Oudard S, Ozguroglu M et al. Prednisone plus cabazitaxel or mitoxantrone for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer progressing after docetaxel treatment: A randomised open-label trial. Lancet 2010; 376: 1147-54
  2. Bahl A et al. Cabazitaxel for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (MCRPC): Interim safety and quality-of-life (QoL) data from the UK early access programme (NCT01254279), poster presented at the 2012 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium
  3. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Docetaxel for the treatment of hormone refractory metastatic prostate cancer. Technology Appraisal 101. London: NICE, 2006


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