20th March 2019

NICE approves another treatment option for ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer patients

View all Treatment

Patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with the ALK-positive mutation now have another treatment option.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the ALK inhibitor drug brigitinib as a treatment for such patients who have previously received crizotinib.

People with ALK-positive advanced NSCLC that has been treated with crizotinib are currently offered ceritinib as their next treatment.

Until this approval by NICE, people whose disease had spread following crizotinib only had access to ceritinib. Studies suggest some people will enjoy a longer-lasting health benefit from being treated with brigatinib, with more manageable side effects and better targeting of brain metastases. Now, following this decision, patients can discuss treatment options with their clinician.

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy castle Lung Cancer Foundation is delighted with the announcement.

The approval of brigatinib by NICE adds another option for patients with this particular type of lung cancer.

We know it will benefit only a fairly small number of people; however, since it will prolong lives and help patients live more comfortably, it’s a very welcome development. It’s also a further sign that better and more effective treatment options are now regularly becoming available for people living with lung cancer. Hopefully, we will see still more in the near future.

Paula Chadwick Chief Executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

NICE guidance covers the use of  brigatinib for ALK+ patients as second line treatment after crizotinib. However, the range of ALK+ treatments available is expanding and the evidence base for sequencing the use of second and third generation ALK treatments is limited.

If you have had a different first line treatment your clinical team would offer guidance on what might be the best available treatment option if your disease becomes resistant to that first line treatment. The best options would be discussed with you on an individual basis and treatments available as part of research studies or compassionate use would be part of the discussion.

If you have a specific question, please email or call our ‘Ask the Nurse’ service.

0800 358 7200 (UK only). Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm / Friday 9am – 4pm