The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today announced that it is recommending the use of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®) for people with certain advanced T-cell skin lymphomas who have not responded (refractory) or whose lymphoma has come back (relapsed) after at least one previous systemic (whole body) treatment.
Skin lymphomas are rare lymphomas that develop in the skin and do not affect any other areas of the body at the time they are diagnosed. T-cell skin lymphomas (also called cutaneous T-cell lymphomas) are skin lymphomas that develop from T cells. Fewer than 350 people are diagnosed with T-cell skin lymphoma in the UK each year.
Most T-cell skin lymphomas are at an early stage when they are diagnosed and many never develop beyond the early stages. Treatment usually aims to control the symptoms rather than cure the lymphoma. However, advanced T-cell skin lymphomas can be challenging to treat and symptoms may have a significant impact on quality of life.
Brentuximab vedotin is an antibody–drug conjugate: an anti-cancer drug joined to an antibody. The antibody targets a protein called CD30 on lymphoma cells and takes the anti-cancer drug directly to them.
Brentuximab vedotin will be available on the NHS in England and Wales for people with advanced primary cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma, mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome that make the CD30 protein.
Brentuximab vedotin is not currently available on the NHS in Scotland.
21 March 2019