NICE Issues Draft Guidance on Kidney Cancer Combination Therapy

February 13, 2020

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance in Feb. 2020 stating that it does not recommend the combination therapy of pembrolizumab with axitinib for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma in adults.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance in Feb. 2020 stating that it does not recommend the combination therapy of pembrolizumab with axitinib for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma in adults.

Part of the reasoning behind the cost watchdog’s recommendation is that despite clinical trial evidence demonstrating higher efficacy with pembrolizumab and axitinib when compared with sunitinib for patients with untreated renal cell carcinoma, there remains uncertainty over whether there is a long-term benefit. As stated on NICE’s website, “This [the uncertainty over the long-term benefits] means the cost-effectiveness estimates are uncertain.”

Additionally, the agency points to other treatments available for previously untreated patients, including the combination therapy of nivolumab and ipilimumab, which has been recommended through the Cancer Drugs Fund. The combination of pembrolizumab and axitinib is specified as not meeting the criteria to be included within the Cancer Drugs Fund, as a result of the uncertainty in the evidence.

The guidance from NICE is open for public consultation until March 4, 2020.

Source: NICE