The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has announced today that a CAR T-cell therapy called KTE-X19 (brand name Tecartus®) will be available on the NHS in Scotland. It is approved for people with mantle cell lymphoma that has come back or not responded after at least two previous courses of treatment, including a type of targeted drug called a BTK inhibitor (for example, ibrutinib). The treatment is approved on an interim basis and will be assessed again in the future, when more evidence is available, to decide if it should be routinely available.
Mantle cell lymphoma is an uncommon type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that can grow quickly. Although it often responds well to initial treatment, it usually comes back and is difficult to cure. People with mantle cell lymphoma that has relapsed several times have limited treatment options. KTE-X19 offers the potential to improve long-term outcomes for these people.
CAR T-cell therapy is an intensive type of treatment. It involves having your own T cells collected and genetically modified in a laboratory to help them recognise and kill lymphoma cells. The modified T cells are then given back to you, like a blood transfusion.
In clinical trials, more than 9 out of 10 people with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma responded to treatment with KTE-X19. Like other CAR T-cell therapies, it can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening side effects. CAR T-cell therapies are given in specialist hospitals that have the facilities and staff to treat these side effects effectively.
KTE-X19 is already available on the NHS in England through the Cancer Drugs Fund.
9 August 2021