Today Tackle welcomes NICE’s approval of Degarelix as an advanced hormone-dependent prostate cancer treatment which doesn’t cause tumour flare. Tackle however does not agree that the drug should be limited to only patients with spinal metastases who present with signs or symptoms of spinal cord compression. It has a wider applicability, for example in other circumstances where rapid reduction of testosterone and PSA is desirable, with no tumour flare. Furthermore, its cardiac safety profile is superior to existing similar therapies.
David Smith, said:
“Tackle welcomes the limited NICE approval given to Degarelix for the treatment of spinal decompression due to bone metastases.. Degarelix has a rapid effect on suppressing testosterone and maintaining the suppression for longer than existing therapies. It does not cause tumour flare, so there is no need for the co-administration of antiandrogens which can cause liver problems. We call on NHS commissioners to give the flexibility to the clinician to decide when benefit is to be derived from prescribing degarelix instead of an antiandrogen and LHRH agonist*.
This news from NICE comes at a time when a number of other drugs for advanced prostate cancer are being assessed, one of which, Radium-223, is particularly targeted at bony metastasis. We trust that NICE are not making this favourable decision as a sop to patients in advance of less encouraging news on more effective treatments.”