Posted on 24 June 2019
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.