The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Crizotinib as a first line treatment for ALK+ patients

We are pleased that crizotinib (xalkori) has been approved by NICE for use with a sub-group of people affected by lung cancer. It had previously been approved for use in Scotland by the Scottish Medicine Consorium (SMC). This is a new treatment for a small group of patients with ALK+ tumours. To work out if a targeted therapy may work for you your cancer doctor will carry out a test of your tumour tissue.

Crizotinib is now available as a first line treatment for those who are ALK+. ALK is a protein which encourages cancer cells to grow, divide and spread. It is found in approximately 3- 5% of those with non-small cell lung cancer. Previously those who were ALK+ had to undergo chemotherapy before a targeted therapy was provided.

We welcome NICE’s decision to approve this medicine which has been judged clinically and cost effective following the manufacturer, Pfizer’s, decision to offer a discount scheme to make the drug available to patients via the NHS.

More information on targeted therapies is available in our booklet. You can download it from our website

Or get more information by calling our nurse led Freephone helpline on 0800 358 7200.

1 Reply

That is really good news for people who are just being diagnosed as ALK positive. A step in the right direction. I am really pleased that it has been approved as a first line treatment. It has been a first line treatment in the US for at least the last 3 years. 😀

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