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9th March 2020

New lung cancer treatment approved for ALK+ NHS Scotland patients

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A new treatment option is now available to people in Scotland with Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer following approval by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

Lorlatinib (which has the tradename Lorviqua) is a targeted therapy taken as a once-a-day tablet, reducing the need to attend hospital for treatment.

It is used in patients whose ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer has got worse despite previous treatment with alectinib or ceritinib, or with crizotinib followed by another ALK inhibitor.

Lorlatinib is also an ALK inhibitor; it works by binding to the faulty ALK protein, blocking the processes that result in the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation welcomes the decision as it brings fresh options and renewed hope.

Paula Chadwick, the charity’s chief executive, is delighted that the SMC has approved lorlatinib for ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer:

Many patients already benefit from targeted therapies, so the arrival of a further treatment option is yet another significant advance in tackling ALK-positive NSCLC.

It’s good news, as it offers another line of treatment for people living with this specific type of lung cancer. It means that now even more people can expect to live better for longer.

Paula Chadwick, chief executive

The SMC Committee has decided to accept lorlatinib on an interim basis for use by NHS Scotland.

This means it has been accepted for use subject to ongoing evaluation and reassessment once further evidence is available as requested by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).