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Prostate Cancer: Docetaxel

Volume 604: debated on Tuesday 5 January 2016

Docetaxel is routinely available in England for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer, where the disease has not responded to hormone treatment. It is not at the moment licensed for use alongside hormone treatment and has not been appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for that indication. In the absence of NICE guidance, NHS commissioners are free to make funding decisions on the best available evidence.

I thank the Minister for stating the current practice. A constituent of mine has prostate cancer. His doctor, consultant and oncologist all say that he would benefit from taking docetaxel, but it is not available in Northamptonshire, although it is available in parts of the rest of the country. He has been told that if he goes down the road to the private hospital, he can have it at £2,700 a cycle. Is that not unacceptable? Should he not get the treatment on the NHS and should he not get refunded the monies paid for private treatment?

I congratulate my hon. Friend on being a diligent advocate for his constituent Mr Vann. I am delighted to tell him that the result of the STAMPEDE clinical trial has now been published. Today NICE is publishing an evidence review. NHS England will shortly be publishing its interim commissioning policy based on that evidence. That is very encouraging.