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Patients to benefit from new lung cancer drug

A targeted drug for lung cancer will be made available to anyone who is eligible, the NHS has announced

A targeted drug for lung cancer will be made available to anyone who is eligible, the NHS has announced.

Sotorasib targets a genetic mutation, dubbed the ‘death star’, by medics and scientists, and has been proven during trials to prevent lung cancer from growing for 7 months.

NHS patients in England were the first in Europe to benefit from the drug in September thanks to an early access agreement made with the manufacturer.

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‘It is fantastic news for hundreds more patients and their families that they will now be able to receive this first of its kind treatment thanks to another deal struck by the NHS,’ said NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

‘From life-changing drugs for cystic fibrosis to new treatments for sickle cell disease, this is the latest in a long list of deals we have struck to provide the latest cutting-edge therapies for patients.’

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Around one in eight lung cancer patients will have this lethal ‘death star’ mutation of the KRAS gene, so called because of its spherical appearance. This first-of-its-kind treatment has taken more than four decades to develop. The drug, which can be taken at home making it more convenient for patients, could also represent a major breakthrough in treatments for some of the world’s other deadliest cancers.

‘It is very exciting to see this ground-breaking treatment coming into use after 40 years of research on this important target, to directly help patients with lung cancer that carries this particular mutation,’ said NHS clinical director for cancer Peter Johnson.

‘The NHS is committed to saving more lives from cancer through better diagnosis and treatment, with molecular testing through our genomics programme increasingly important for selecting the best options for patients.’