Just a quick update on NICE’s ongoing appraisal of the use of four new drugs to treat metastatic kidney cancer.

You may remember that in August, NICE, the organisation that assesses the cost-effectiveness of new treatments, and recommends them to the NHS, made a preliminary decision that four new drugs were too expensive to be used to treat kidney cancer that had spread, judging by the available evidence.

Cancer Research UK, and others, were very disappointed with this decision, and submitted feedback to NICE during the ensuing consultation process.

Based on these submissions, NICE intended to announce their final decision at some point in late 2008.

However, two of the pharmaceutical firms who make these drugs have submitted new evidence of their effectiveness in patients. NICE will now review this, and have today announced that they will issue another draft recommendation early in the New Year.

The announcement of their final decision is not now expected until later in 2009.

Obviously, these are frustrating delays for patients and their doctors, but we hope that the final outcome will be a positive one for people suffering from kidney cancer. And we’re pleased that NICE is taking the time to review this new evidence properly and carefully.