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Abraxane not approved by Cancer Drugs Fund Panel

Posted by: Policy and campaigning 2 September 2013

The Cancer Drugs Fund Panel recently (30th July 2013) took the decision not to approve Abraxane (Paclitaxel Albumin) for the National Cancer Drugs Fund List for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer (advanced adenocarcinoma of pancreas in combination with Gemcitabine).

Pancreatic Cancer UK supported the application to the Cancer Drugs Fund Panel for Abraxane to be added to the approved National Cancer Drugs Fund List at a meeting which took place on 16th July 2013.

Current trial data suggests that treatment of patients with advanced  pancreatic cancer may extend survival by nearly two months. In its supporting statement Pancreatic Cancer UK highlighted the poor prognosis for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer - with low medium survival rates of 2-6 months - and the lack of effective treatments available to treat this disease as important considerations.  We believe, because of this, an increase in survival of two months for patients with advanced disease should be recognised as a significant and important development.

Clara Mackay, acting Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK comments,

"Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of any of the 21 most common cancers - and has suffered for many years from a dearth of effective treatments. We feel strongly that consideration of any new treatment that may extend the lives of patients affected by this disease take into consideration this position in relation to poor survival rates and lack of treatment options for patients. For patients with advanced disease the potential to extend their life, even by just two months, represents a significant advance from its current position."

To read more about the decision, visit the NHS England website.