NHS patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma are to be among the first in the world to be offered access to the CAR-T therapy Tecartus.
New NICE guidance issued today (Tuesday 19 January 2021) says the treatment can be considered for those with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma who have previously received a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, such as ibrutinib.
NICE’s independent appraisal committee reviewed evidence on Tecartus and concluded that people being treated with the CAR-T therapy appear to live longer and have more time before disease relapses.
However, the committee said there is not enough evidence at present to determine if the treatment is curative. NICE has requested further data to be collected on progression-free survival, overall survival, and the age when treatment starts. This will help to reduce the uncertainty in the evidence while the treatment is used on NHS patients, the guidance says.
NICE has agreed a managed access agreement with the manufacturer, which will provide access to the treatment through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).
Ten NHS providers around the country will be able to offer the treatment. Because of the current pressures, many centres do not have access to the critical care services that are required for administration. Hence, patients may be required to travel for treatment.
Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of NICE’s centre for health technology evaluation, said: “We are pleased to be able to recommend another revolutionary CAR T-cell therapy, this time for adults with mantle cell lymphoma, which represents a step forward for personalised medicine. Clinicians will be able to consider this innovative therapy for their patients because of joint working between NICE, NHS England and NHS Improvement and the company.”
Providing Tecartus on the Cancer Drugs Fund will mean people can benefit from the treatment while more data is collected, he said.
Consultees and commentators can appeal the recommendation of the committee until Tuesday 2 February 2021.