Tesaro's ovarian cancer drug Zejula (niraparib), the first PARP inhibitor shown to be effective in patients with a BRCA mutation as well as those without a BRCA mutation, has been accepted onto the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).
Because overvall survival data for Zejula is not yet available, NICE has recommended the drug via the CDF for women with a BRCA mutation who have received two lines of chemotherapy and in women without a BRCA mutation who have received two or more lines of chemotherapy, while further data is collected.
"Recurrent ovarian cancer is an aggressive form of cancer where a key goal of treatment is to keep women in remission and off chemotherapy for as long as possible - allowing them the best chance for a good quality of life," said Jonathan Ledermann, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University College London Cancer Institute. "Zejula offers the chance to delay this cancer from returning or progressing for months, and possibly years in some cases. It is a significant step forward. Crucially, this decision opens the door for many women who, until now, have not had the option of maintenance treatment with a PARP inhibitor."
In the UK, ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of all gynecological cancers. It has one of the highest incidence rates in Europe with survival rates among the lowest. The rate of newly diagnosed cases of ovarian cancer in the UK is 16 per 100,000 of the population compared to the European average of 12.6 per 100,0005. Every year 4,100 women lose their lives to ovarian cancer - 11 women every day.