Roche’s Tecentriq will be available on the NHS in England via the Cancer Drugs Fund for certain patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma.

As expected the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has now published final guidelines recommending Tecentriq as an option for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma in adults, for whom cisplatin-based chemotherapy is unsuitable.

Bladder cancer affects around 10,000 people in the UK each year and when advanced, is linked with poor outcomes, with just 15 percent of patients surviving more than five years.

Tecentriq blocks PD-L1 – an important ligand found on the surface of cancer cells that camouflage them from detection and destruction by the immune system, and demonstrated a median overall survival of 15.9 months in the IMvigor210 trial.

Tecentriq meets NICE's criteria to be considered a life-extending end-of-life treatment. The Institute says that the drug is likely to extend people's lives by more than three months, but a lack of evidence comparing it with other treatments “means that this is uncertain”.

Tecentriq does have the potential to be cost effective, but more evidence is needed to address the clinical uncertainty, which is why NICE has recommended its within the Cancer Drugs Fund while further data are collected as per the managed access agreement.

Some of this data is being collected from patients taking part in the IMvigor 130 trial, which directly compares Tecentriq with other treatments.