The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended AstraZeneca/MSD’s Lynparza combined with Roche’s Avastin for certain patients with ovarian cancer via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

Through the CDF, Lynparza (olaparib) with Avastin (bevacizumab) can now be used as a maintenance treatment for patients with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) positive advanced ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer, following complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy and Avastin.

In the Phase III PAOLA-1 trial, Lynparza in combination with Avastin reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 67% in these patients, compared to treatment with Avastin alone.

Lynparza plus Avastin also increased the median progression-free survival (PFS) from 17.7 months with Avastin alone to 37.2 months.

“This announcement is an extremely positive sign of the progress we’re now making in ovarian cancer treatment,” said Annwen Jones, chief executive of Target Ovarian Cancer

“The NICE recommendation and the introduction of HRD testing means that so many more women will receive treatment personalised to them. The future we want to see – where every woman with ovarian cancer has access to innovative treatments – has come a big step closer,” she added.

Around 48% of women with newly-diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer have HRD-positive tumours.

NHS England, to support the introduction of the Lynparza plus Avastin treatment regimen, is making genomic HRD testing available for the first time.

This test determines both HRD and somatic BRCA mutation status, by testing only one tumour sample.

“From today, more women will have the chance to benefit from this personalised treatment regimen that could change the course of their disease, with data showing that disease progression could be stalled for more than three years,” said David Long, UK oncology business unit director, MSD.

“It’s now crucial that every woman in England who could possibly benefit from this treatment combination is offered an HRD test,” he added.