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Pemetrexed recommended for non-small cell lung cancer

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The National Institute For Health and Clinical Excellence has today issued final guidance to the NHS recommending pemetrexed (Alimta, Eli Lilly) for the maintenance treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with around 38,000 people diagnosed every year. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for around 80% of all cases.

Dr Carole Longson, health technology evaluation centre director at NICE, said: “Maintenance treatment is a new concept in lung cancer care and pemetrexed is the first drug to be recommended by NICE for this use. The two main goals of this kind of treatment are to prolong the period of remission after first line chemotherapy and increase the likelihood of being able to receive second line chemotherapy.

“In September 2009 NICE also recommended pemetrexed as a first line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer and we are pleased to now be able to recommend it as a maintenance treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.”

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