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02
Jun
New treatments approved for CLL patients

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Man

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have today published positive final guidance for two new chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) treatments.

This guidance ensures that patients in England and Wales will soon be able to routinely access these drugs. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHS England and local authorities are required to comply with these recommendations within three months from the publication of the final guidance today.

CLL is the most common form of leukaemia in adults, with around 3,200 people diagnosed in the UK each year. CLL is a slowly progressing leukaemia, which affects a type of white blood cell called a ‘B lymphocyte’ which produces antibodies to help fight infection. In CLL too many immature B lymphocytes are produced which ‘fill up’ the bone marrow, preventing it from creating normal healthy cells and making people more vulnerable to infections. Common symptoms of CLL include anaemia, unexplained bleeding and bruising, tiredness, more frequent infections and shortness of breath.

For more information on CLL, please click here.

Obinutuzumab

Obinutuzumab is marketed by Roche as Gazyvaro®. NHS Patients in Scotland are also able to access obinutuzumab, which was accepted by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) in December 2014.

The final guidance by NICE states that:

“Obinutuzumab, in combination with chlorambucil, is recommended as an option for adults with untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia who have comorbidities that make full-dose fludarabine-based therapy unsuitable for them, only if:

View a copy of the final guidance from NICE here.

Ofatumumab

Ofatumumab is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as Arzerra®. NHS patients in Scotland are also able to access this drug following its approval by the SMC last month.

The final guidance by NICE states that:

“Ofatumumab in combination with chlorambucil is recommended as an option for untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia only if:

View a copy of the final guidance from NICE here.

If you are affected by these changes and would like to speak to somebody about it, please call our 24-hour CARE Line on 08088 010 444.