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New treatment could aid sufferers of rare cancer

Published 21/12/2009

People with a rare form of cancer which occurs in the muscles, nerves, fat or blood vessels could benefit from a new treatment, it was announced today.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has reversed an earlier decision on the drug trabectedin after the manufacturers agreed to a cost-reducing scheme.

Under the plan, the firm PharmaMar will meet the cost of the drug if it is needed beyond a fifth cycle of treatment.

The medicine could extend the lives of people with advanced soft tissue sarcoma by at least three months.

Trabectedin will benefit around 110 patients a year who have failed on other treatments, at a cost of more than £3,500 a cycle.

The drug, which is given intravenously, works by altering the DNA in cancer cells, which stops them growing and spreading.

Belfast Telegraph

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