NICE Thumbs-up for Roche's MabThera as Maintenance Therapy

Published: May 24, 2011

The UK's cost watchdog has recommended expanded use of Roche's lymphoma drug MabThera.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has issued new draft guidance which recommends MabThera (rituximab) as a first-line maintenance treatment in people with follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that has responded to first-line induction therapy with rituximab in combination with chemotherapy.

NICE notes that standard clinical practice for these patients, around 1,600 in the UK, is for doctors to wait for the cancer to grow again following successful induction therapy, before giving them further treatment. However evidence presented by Roche and advice from clinical specialists suggest that treating patients with MabThera maintenance after induction therapy "can prevent the spread and growth of this cancer by three to four years".

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