The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently reviewing its decision on whether the drug Sorafenib can be used for the treatment of HCC (advanced liver cancer). This is being considered under the Cancer Drug Fund rapid reconsideration programme. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the 18th most common cancer in the UK and accounts for approximately 85% of liver cancers. The British Liver Trust believes that all patients with advanced stage hepatocellular carcinoma who have failed or are unsuitable for surgical or loco-regional treatment should be informed about and have access to this treatment.
It is the only treatment available for this group of patients, the alternative being specialist palliative care. The Trust has submitted a strongly worded submission to NICE highlighting the immense benefits of not only prolonging life but also the improved symptom control and quality of life that can be achieved.
As Sorafenib is available to patients in Scotland and Wales the British Liver Trust has also argued that it is unfair not to give equal access to patients in England.