Accessibility statement

Modelling approaches for histology independent cancer drugs to inform NICE appraisals

Posted on 24 June 2019

As part of the Technology Assessment Review (TAR) Programme, CRD staff have been collaborating with colleagues from the Centre for Health Economics (CHE) to explore the extent to which the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) existing approaches for assessing clinical and economic value can be applied to technologies developed for histology independent indications and any changes that might be required.

Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the first approval for a cancer treatment based on a common biomarker rather than the location in the body where the tumour originated (i.e. a histology independent indication), and the first marketing authorisations could be granted in Europe in 2019. Histology independent treatments have the potential for important treatment effects in patient populations who currently have limited or no available treatment options. However, it is important to ensure that the use of these treatments in the NHS is supported by systematic and robust assessments of clinical evidence (i.e. how well the medicine or treatment works) and economic evidence (i.e. the medicine’s value for money). Current processes are designed to evaluate technologies that are specific to a particular tumour site, and are not immediately applicable to histology-independent drugs. This research will help to inform future NICE policy on how to appraise cancer drugs with histology independent indications.