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Yescarta approved by NICE for relapsed/remitted lymphomas

Yescarta has received approval from NICE for adults with two forms of relapsed/refractory lymphomas after two or more lines of prior therapy

Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) is a CAR-T cell therapy that has been approved by for use by NICE in adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) who have already received two or more lines of systemic treatment.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy is a form of personalised immunotherapy that utilises the patient’s own immune which are modified and designed to destroy cancer cells. DLBCL is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and while in the UK alone, there are around 14,200 annual cases of the NHL DLBCL accounts for around 40% of all NHL cases or roughly 5,500 patients. In contrast, PMBCL is much rarer, accounting for 2 to 4 % of all NHL cases (around 330 cases in the UK).

Following initial chemotherapy, up to 45% of those with DLBCL require a second-line treatment such as a stem cell transplant and of these, around 50% ultimately relapse. Moreover, it has been estimated that only 60% of patients will survive for longer than 5 years after their diagnosis.

The decision to approve yescarta was based information from the cancer drugs fund, which showed that a total of 318 patients received treatment and showed a median overall survival of those given axicabtagene ciloleucel was 28.5 months and 45% of people were alive after three years.

The full guidance issued by NICE is expected to the published at the end of February 2023.

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