NEW UK GUIDANCE SHOULD IMPROVE PATIENT ACCESS TO SIR-SPHERES®
MICROSPHERES FOR PRIMARY LIVER CANCER
LONDON, July 24, 2013 /CNW/ - The UK National Institute for Health and
Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance to support the
routine use of SIRT (Selective Internal Radiation Therapy) for the
treatment of patients with primary liver cancer. This decision is good news for patients with the most-common form of
primary liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC, for whom
few effective treatment options are available currently.
SIRT is used for the treatment of inoperable liver tumours and involves
injecting millions of tiny radioactive microspheres into the liver via
the hepatic artery (blood supply). Each microsphere is coated with a
beta-emitting radioactive isotope called yttrium-90. The radiation
delivers localised treatment to tumour cells whilst conserving normal
liver cells. SIR-Spheres microspheres, a form of SIRT, were approved in
Europe in 2002 and more than 35,000 treatments have been supplied
worldwide. Over 500 patients have received this treatment in Britain.
The NICE guidance, released on 24th July 2013, confirmed that the scientific evidence of the safety and
efficacy of SIRT for patients with HCC is now considered adequate,
which means that eligible National Health Service (NHS) patients are
now likely to have improved access to this treatment.
Dr Harpreet Wasan, Consultant Oncologist at Hammersmith Hospital,
Imperial College, said:
"SIRT is an innovative treatment for patients with inoperable primary
liver tumours where few other effective treatment options are
available. It is excellent news that NICE has now published guidance
supporting the latest evidence on SIRT in HCC and this should ensure
suitable patients can access SIRT on the NHS. I hope that, as a
result, 'postcode prescribing' and treatment delays due to a lengthy
funding application and approval process will no longer be a problem
for treating eligible NHS patients with SIRT."
About Hepatocellular Carcinoma
HCC occurs most commonly in people whose livers have become severely
damaged or cirrhotic, usually due to underlying liver conditions such
as previous viral hepatitis infection or alcohol related liver damage.
It is one of the ten most-common cancers in the world, with nearly
750,000 cases diagnosed annually, and is the third-leading cause of
cancer deaths. HCC occurs with greatest frequency in regions where hepatitis is most
often diagnosed, such as in the Asia Pacific region and Southern
HCC can be cured only by surgery, either by resecting or ablating the
diseased parts of the liver, or by transplantation with a liver from a
donor. These interventions, however, are unsuitable for the great
majority of patients, whose survival may range from a few months to two
or more years depending largely on the state of their liver at the time
of their diagnosis and the extent of tumour in the liver.
For Further Information:
SIR-Spheres microspheres are approved for use in Australia, the European
Union (CE Mark), New Zealand, Switzerland, Turkey and several other
countries for the treatment of unresectable liver tumours.
SIR-Spheres microspheres are also fully FDA PMA-approved and are
indicated in the U.S. for the treatment of non-resectable metastatic
liver tumours from primary colorectal cancer in combination with
intra-hepatic artery chemotherapy using floxuridine.
®SIR-Spheres is a registered trademark of Sirtex SIR-Spheres Pty Ltd.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Selective
internal radiation therapy for primary hepatocellular carcinoma
(Interventional Procedure Guidance 460). London: NICE, July 2013.
GLOBOCAN. Liver Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide in 2008.
SOURCE: Sirtex Medical Limited
For further information:
Rebecca Crouch, Aurora Healthcare Communications, +44(0)207-148-4188 / +44(0)7720-967-673, firstname.lastname@example.org. Downloadable images, background information, a mode-of-action video and further supporting materials are available online at www.SIRTnewsroom.com.