1. ITV Report

'Disappointment' over breast cancer drug rejection

Breast Cancer Campaign hopes the NICE decision will be reversed. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Archive

A breast cancer charity says it is disappointed over a decision not to provide a life-extending breast cancer drug on the NHS.

Breast Cancer Campaign said it hopes the draft decision from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) will be reversed before officials make a final determination on pertuzumab as a treatment for an advanced form of the disease.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said it cannot recommend breast cancer drug pertuzumab for widespread use because clinical trial data could not predict how long the drug might extend people's lives for.

The drug, also known as Perjeta, was widely welcomed when it was first introduced by manufacturers Roche.

The drug targets the HER-2 gene found in 20 percent of breast cancer patients. Trials have found that when used alongside the drug Herceptin and chemotherapy, patients live an average of six months longer without their cancer getting worse, compared with those just on Herceptin and chemotherapy.

At present, patients can access the drug through the Cancer Drugs Fund but it is not routinely available through the health service.

Nice has now launched a consultation to hear the views of charities, patient groups and drug manufacturers.

"This is an interim decision and we hope that appropriate evidence to show its benefit can be provided", said Mia Rosenblatt, head of policy and campaigns at Breast Cancer Campaign.

Read more: Breast cancer drug rejected