Target Ovarian Cancer has welcomed the news that ‘game changing’ treatment, PARP inhibitor niraparib (Zejula®), will be available to newly diagnosed women with advanced ovarian cancer for the first time.
The announcement from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) means that women with advanced ovarian cancer, regardless of whether they have a BRCA mutation, will be able to access a PARP inhibitor from their first line of treatment.
The majority of women are currently diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making it harder to treat and more likely to come back. Up until now, niraparib was only available to people whose cancer had come back (recurrent ovarian cancer). Accessing ovarian cancer drugs earlier means there’s a better chance of surviving ovarian cancer from the outset.
Niraparib will be available to women with advanced (stage III or IV) high-grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer after response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy.
It is being made available on the Cancer Drugs Fund in England and will be made available on the same basis in Wales and Northern Ireland. Niraparib for first-line treatment is currently under consideration by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.
Target Ovarian Cancer played an active role in the NICE appraisal process by submitting evidence and acting as the patient expert at NICE committee meetings.
Annwen Jones OBE, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “Today’s announcement is a major milestone in the fight against ovarian cancer. With two thirds of women unfortunately diagnosed with later stage disease, it is absolutely crucial that more effective treatments are available. This is the biggest breakthrough in ovarian cancer drugs since the introduction of the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel – Taxol – in the 1990s.”