KCSN are formal consultants to NICE and part of the process that appraises all new kidney cancer drugs. We are delighted to tell you that, as from today, kidney cancer patients can get NHS funding via the Cancer Drugs Fund for avelumab in combination with axitinib as a first-line treatment for patients with untreated advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

This is the first time a combination of an immunotherapy drug (avelumab) with a targeted anti-angiogenic therapy (axitinib) has been recommended by NICE as a first-line treatment option for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Professor James Larkin, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and supporter and Trustee of our Kidney Cancer Support Network charity said:

“Today’s announcement is excellent news and this approval is an important advancement for patients with advanced kidney cancer, improving their access to this promising new treatment. This is the first time a 1st line combination therapy with immunotherapy and targeted therapy has been approved on the NHS for the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer which will make a real difference to patients and their quality of life. Clinical trials, including the JAVELIN Renal 101 trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), have shown that avelumab plus axitinib is superior to previous standards of care with significantly lowered risk of disease progression and an improved rate of progression free survival. This latest development is another great example of the work the health community and research is doing to improve patients access to cancer treatments.”

As NICE has now published the Final Appraisal Document (FAD) on its website the combination is immediately available to NHS patients in England via the Cancer Drugs Fund and in Wales via routine funding streams.

This is a new type of treatment and is best discussed directly with your oncologist or CNS if it relates to your own care. If you can’t access the documents from the NICE website and want to read the FAD, please email us directly on team@kcsn.org.uk and we can send it to you.

This is yet another innovative treatment for kidney cancer that will make a huge difference to patients’ lives, but research, especially for biomarkers, goes on. It is so important to understand which drugs will work for which patients and of course we never lose sight of the fact – it is a cure for kidney cancer that is the holy grail of all research.

Read more information about the background to the decision on NICE website here

Read the PharmaTimes report here