‘A Game Changer in Ovarian Cancer’: NHS Fund Approval of Treatment With Niraparib


A drug that can prevent the recurring of cancer could be a “game-changing” treatment for thousands of women. The NHS has approved this drug a year and a half earlier. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), recommended the inclusion of Niraparib in the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

Niraparib Could Treat Over 850 Women a Year

This treatment is available for women that have ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers, which recurred after they have been through two or three courses of chemotherapy.

Treatment options have been very limited, Nice explaining that five years after the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, only a third of women survive.

CDF will let NHS collect information on how niraparib affects the growth of cancer, the long-term survival and the effectiveness regarding cost.

Only in the UK, in 2015, 6,198 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, making it the most common type of cancer in female patients. Not only are the highest rates in Europe, but the survival rates are also the lowest.

The director of public affairs and services at Target Ovarian Cancer, Rebecca Rennison said:

“Today’s announcement is a game changer in ovarian cancer.”

Until the recent years, Rebecca said that not many women with ovarian cancers got new treatments. They had to meet strict criteria, but niraparib can benefit many women.

In clinical trials, niraparib delayed cancer growth by 6 – 15.5 months, depending on each woman’s genetic profile. Unfortunately, there were no final results that clearly showed if niraparib could increase the length of life in cancer patients.

The treatment consists in taking a pill per day. It will prevent the growth of cancer by inhibiting two proteins that are involved in repairing the DNA.

Meindert Boysen is director of the center for health technology evaluation at Nice. She explains that:

“We are pleased to see the inclusion of niraparib in the Cancer Drugs Fund as it will give women early access to this treatment while uncertainties in the clinical evidence can be addressed through the collection of additional data.”


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