29 July 2011
Responding to the decision by NICE to recommend Thalidomide and Bortezomib as first-line treatments for patients with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that affects cells in the bone marrow, Mike Hobday, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'It is great news that NICE has recommended these drugs for cancer patients with multiple myeloma and that their needs have been listened to.
'Of the two million people living with a cancer diagnosis in the UK over 900,000 (45%) have a rarer cancer . For too long patients with less common cancers, such as multiple myeloma have lost out on receiving the vital medicines they need on the NHS.
'This decision recognises the need to fund drugs that improve the quality and length of life for cancer patients with rarer cancers, which is a key step to improving better access to treatments for all.'
For further information,please contact:
Julie Wills, Assistant Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support, 020 7840 4933.
Notes to Editors:
 Sources: Maddams J, et al. Cancer prevention in the United Kingdom: estimates for 2008. British Journal of Cancer. 2009. 101:541-547.
Rarer cancers are 'other cancers' and exclude the four most common cancers (prostate, colorectal, lung and breast (female) cancers) and non-melanoma skin cancer.
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.
For more information about Macmillan Cancer Support, visit www.macmillan.org.uk
or freephone 0800 500 800 for an information pack.