On 05 October, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued documentation recommending venetoclax on the NHS through the Cancer Drugs Fund for some people with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Venetoclax will be available for people with CLL:
- with certain genetic changes (17p deletion or TP53 mutation) and when a B-cell receptor pathway inhibitor (for example, idelalisib or ibrutinib) is unsuitable, or whose disease has progressed (got worse) after a B-cell receptor pathway inhibitor
- without a 17p deletion or TP53 mutation, and whose CLL has progressed after both chemo-immunotherapy (chemotherapy with antibody therapy) and a B-cell receptor pathway inhibitor.
The guidance is expected to be published shortly.
Venetoclax is a newer, targeted treatment that is taken as tablets every day to keep CLL under control.
As previously reported, venetoclax has impressive early results in clinical trials for people with CLL. More evidence about this treatment will be collected until December 2020, when the decision will be reviewed.