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19th March 2021

New CLL treatment approved

NICE has recommended acalabrutinib for people with:

• untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and a 17p deletion/TP53 mutation or

• untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia without 17p deletion/TP53 mutation, and fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide and rituximab, or bendamustine plus retuximab, is unsuitable or

• previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

The original draft guidance included a restriction in the previously treated population, where acalabrutinib was only recommended if ibrutinib is their only suitable treatment option. However, this restriction has been removed from the final guidance.

Our patient advocate, Jackie Martin, made the submission to NICE on behalf of ourselves and Lymphoma Action.  Together with Leukaemia Care and the clinical experts she gave evidence at the Committee Meeting outlining the benefits for patients of acalabrutinib. We are delighted that approval has been published after all the hard work.

We are incredibly pleased with this announcement, which we believe will have a profound effect on patient care.

However, we are disappointed that access for fit patients has not been approved at this stage but that this is something that we will continue to follow up and advocate for.