9th September 2019

New first line treatment approved for EGFR-patients in Scotland

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The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has confirmed a new treatment option is to be made available on the NHS in Scotland.

Dacomitinib is a targeted therapy available as a first-line treatment to people with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), who have tested positive for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation.

Our response to SMC’s decision re the approval of Dacomitinib:

“We are delighted whenever a new lung cancer treatment is approved. It means those eligible have another treatment option, another way to live well with lung cancer for longer.

“Dacomitinib is an oral treatment. This means those taking it can carry on with their daily lives without needing to spend hours in hospital. They can also have milder side effects compared to conventional cancer treatment like chemotherapy, so they can significantly improve a person’s quality of life.

We have seen people on targeted therapies return to work. We speak to people who are four, five or even six years into a late stage diagnosis. These new treatments are having a huge impact on people’s lives. They are keeping families together for longer and we will continue to campaign for more access to these life-lengthening treatments.

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Gwen Boyle from Fife understands the positive impact targeted therapies are having on people living with advanced lung cancer.

Gwen has been well living with incurable lung cancer since 2015

She was diagnosed in 2015 with incurable lung cancer when she was just 35 years old. Since her diagnosis, she had had chemotherapy and is now on a targeted therapy:

I was a wreck during chemo but since I’ve been on my new medication, I do my kick boxing. I’m back at work part time. I walk my dog. I’ve been out jogging, the shopping. House work I try and avoid but I can do it! I’ll try anything and see if I can get on with it, if my body copes with it.

Gwen Boyle

About dacomitinib

In patients with EGFR positive NSCLC, the EGFR gene makes a faulty EGFR protein, which drives the growth of cancer cells. Dacomitinib works by binding to the EGFR protein to block the processes that result in the growth and spread of cancer cells.

It is estimated that around 10 per cent of patients with NSCLC have cancer cells with this kind of mutation.

If you are affected by this decision and want more information, you can call our Ask the Nurse service on 0800 358 7200, email lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org, or download information about treatment options at here.