The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Tarceva to be stopped

Just read this on-line on Daily Mail site. Has anyone else seen this article. I sent it to my lung specialist nurse who doesn't know anything about it. This was going to be my next line of treatment.

Hundreds of cancer patients in England and Wales to be denied life-prolonging drug - but patients in SCOTLAND will still get it.

Lung cancer patients will be denied Tarceva because The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has changed its guidance on the drug

It's currently an option for 1,000 people a year after chemo has failed

Experts say Nice's decision will send cancer care 'backwards'.

The decision was made because the drug is more expensive than an alternative that has just come off-patent.

How more life prolonging drugs are they going to stop us from having although you'll live longer if you live in Scotland. Why????

Moni x

9 Replies

Have just read your comments on Tarceva from the report in the newspaper.

I have been a member of this site since July when diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma T4. EGFR negative and have read everybody’s comment and feed backs with great interest. All of these I found very helpful. You have at last made me put fingers to key board.

Tarceva was recommended after chemo which was not successful. I have been on Tarceva for just over 3 months. The scan a couple of weeks ago showed the tumours have started to shrink. Which was very positive news and I was told I would be on the tablets as long as the treatment kept working. I am now very disappointed to read that it may be withdrawn and Docetaxel may be its replacement and treatment will require regular hospital trips instead of a tablet a day at home. This also looks to me like a backwards step. Lets hope the final decision does not rest on cost but which treatment is best to prolong our lives.



I cannot believe that a decision like this can be made yet if you live in Scotland it won't affect you. If this is carried through, it will seem like death sentence when chemo isn't an option.


I have been on Tarceva since august 22 2013 and although I am not EGFR+ it seems to be working at least keeping it at bay.My understanding of any changes is that if you are already receiving treatment then they cannot just stop it.I cant find anything about it and don't think it was in the printed paper as my husband gets it every day.I don't know what the alternative is that's just come off patent... not Docetaxel as that's been around for years.Was it Tarceva or erlonitib that you read Moni?Iressa is also erlonitib just different brand names.Best wishes.Julie x

Reply Here is the web address. Just bleeding awful. Already terrible that there is already inequality on how this disease is researched and funded.


I have read it...found it through searching BBC website.I have e mailed 10 Downing Street.Seems ridiculous when generally quality of life on Tarceva is good and work possible. While chemo is a killer and I was in hospital with an infection while I was on it and on the sick for four months.Cynically.....chemo is a killer and that cuts cost eh? If it kills me it costs the NHS nothing!Appalling!


I have just read a post on inspire with a link to the actual document which is a proposal and what the daily mail said is not true. Have a look at the document.Its very long but I skimmed it.We will be ok.Julie x


Hello all,

thanks for bringing this topic to the attention of the forum. I have done a bit of background research and checked with our medical director, so here is a bit of a summary. It is clearly an important topic on the forum, but not a straight forward one.

We are disappointed by the recent Appraisal Committee Decision regarding gefitinib and erlotinib in second line treatment, after a patient has received chemotherapy treatment. At this time, this is a provisional decision.

The guidance and coverage may be a little difficult to understand. It is important to note that this does not impact on EGFR positive patients, for which the targeted therapies Erlotinib and Gefitinib are available. For those patients, Erlotinib is approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, Erlotinib and Gefitinib for those in England and Wales.

Key points of this announcement include

1. For patients who are EGFR positive and who, for some reason did not receive these two therapies as a first treatment, they would be available as a second treatment.

2. Similarly, these two treatments would be available for patients whom their doctor thinks may have EGFR positive status but, where the result is not been available.

3. This decision does, however limit Erlotinib as a treatment option in the second line for EGFR negative patients, after first line chemotherapy treatment. Gefitinib is not licenced and has no indication in this situation.

Erlotinib and a chemotherapy drug (Taxotere) have, over the past few years, both been available in this situation, where patients were fit enough and where the cost of Erlotinib was the same or less than Taxotere. After reviewing the evidence, in this decision, NICE has concluded that Taxotere is more effective than Erlotinib in this patient group and as such has recommended Taxotere and not Erlotinib be available for these patients.

Taxotere can have fairly severe side effects and is not suitable for less well patients. We are, therefore, talking to clinicians, to understand what the implications of this guidance would be and to ensure the best treatment is available to all those with lung cancer. We will be submitting a response to this NICE decision.

There is no suggestion that treatment will be withdrawn from anyone who is currently receiving and responding to treatment.

More information on targeted therapies and other treatments are available in our new Living with lung cancer pack available to order

If you have any experiences of treatment that you would like to share with us please do and we can use this appropriately in any submissions or accounts of how treatment impacts on those living with lung cancer.

best wishes


on behalf of the Information & Support team

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If anyone taking Tarceva or Iressa please make you thoughts known on

We only have until 24 February to do this.

We need to put up a fight for what is equal rights.

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My mum has been taking Tarceva as a second line treatment since June and she is stable and enjoying life again she was not tested for mutations but is responding well to the drug she won't have it taken away will she? Apparently you can it seems put a price on life and the cheaper chemos are the choice this is wrong it's a step backwards we need to move away from some of these chemos I'm not saying they don't save life's but mum nearly lost all her will to live on this. Tarceva is saving her life.


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