Eisai has rolled out its thyroid cancer drug Lenvima in the UK just days after European approval, giving patients with advanced forms of the condition a new treatment option shown to improve progression-free survival.

After an accelerated assessment the European Commission ruled last week that Lenvima (lenvatinib) can be used to treat adults with progressive, locally advanced or metastatic differentiated (papillary, follicular, Hürthle cell) thyroid carcinoma, refractory to radioactive iodine.

Advanced thyroid cancer is a difficult to treat condition with a poor prognosis, but Eisai notes that in trials its drug significantly prolonged PFS, with patients taking Lenvima experiencing a median 18.3 months PFS versus 3.6 months for those taking a placebo.

Although the cancer is relatively rare, numbers are on the rise and there are around 2,800 new cases in the UK each year, again highlighting the need for new treatment options.

“The development of new targeted therapies such as lenvatinib gives us all a renewed sense of optimism and I look

forward to patients in the UK being able to benefit from this new treatment,” commented Judith Taylor, Lead Thyroid Cancer Group, British Thyroid Foundation.