Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood, Middlesex has become the first cancer centre in the UK to treat a patient, outside of clinical trials, with a new first-in-class treatment for metastatic triple negative breast cancer. Trodelvy, a targeted drug treatment, has been shown to significantly improve survival rates in breast cancer patients with limited treatment options.
Currently Trodelvy is licensed but not yet approved for routine use in the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The oncology team at the centre submitted an urgent request to pharmaceutical company Gilead, who produce Trodelvy, to request quicker access to the drug via the company’s early access scheme. This submission by MVCC to Gilead was on the first day that the treatment was licensed in the UK thereby becoming the first centre in the UK to register a patient in the scheme.
Triple negative breast cancer is a less common type of breast cancer with a higher prevalence in women under the age of 40. As a type of cancer that does not have receptors for hormones it is particularly difficult and complex to treat. Trodelvy is a targeted biological therapy which uses an antibody to deliver an anti-cancer drug directly to the cancer cell by targeting a unique protein on its surface.
Carly Francis, 35, a cancer patient from Ruislip, Middlesex said: “I’m incredibly grateful to the team at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre who acted so quickly to enable me early access to this new treatment.
“I have been through a lot of different treatments since my original diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer in March 2018. It has been incredibly tough. I now have very few and limited treatment options. I was aware of Trodelvy through my own research but knew it was not widely available in the NHS for some months. In my situation every day counts and early access to this new treatment has really given me some hope.”
Dr Amy Guppy, Consultant Medical Oncologist and joint chemotherapy lead at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre said: “Trodelvy has shown really exciting results in clinical trials, meaning patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer like Carly have a better chance of living longer and spending more time with their loved ones. We are delighted therefore to be able to offer this promising drug through Gilead’s early access scheme.
“Over the last eighteen months we have grown our specialist pharmacy team which has enabled us to offer more patients improved and faster access to the latest cutting edge cancer treatments.”