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SMC recommends Polatuzumab vedotin for DLBCL

Published on: 12 June 2023

New treatment available for untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Scottish Medicines Consortium

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has recommended Polatuzumab vedotin with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and prednisolone (R-CHP) for untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in adults, only if:

  • they have an International Prognostic Index (IPI) score of 2 to 5 (IPI is a clinical tool developed to aid in predicting the likely outcome of treatment)

This treatment was recommended by NICE for the same indication back in January.

Polatuzumab vedotin is a type of treatment called an ‘antibody–drug conjugate’. This is a strong anti-cancer drug joined to an antibody that binds to a protein called CD79b on the surface of B cells (the cells that are abnormal in DLBCL). This carries the drug directly to the B cells and kills them. It is administered as an intravenous infusion.

R-CHP is a chemoimmunotherapy combing the use of four drugs (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisolone) to target and kill cancer cells. This is not to be confused with R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone) which is currently the most widely used first line chemotherapy for lymphoma.

The SMC made this decision because polatuzumab vedotin, in combination with R-CHP, resulted in a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival compared R-CHOP.

Find out more about drug development, approval and funding, or visit Lymphoma TrialsLink for the latest on clinical trials for lymphoma.


Published: 12 June 2023