Help us to stop bowel cancer

New drug available for advanced bowel cancer patients

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved a new drug, Lonsurf, for use on the NHS.

Lonsurf is now recommended as a treatment option for patients with advanced bowel cancer who have been previously treated with or are not eligible for other available treatments. Advanced bowel cancer is when the cancer has spread to somewhere else in the body, such as the liver or lungs.

Prompt access to effective treatments is essential to extend and enhance quality of life for those where cure is not an option. Lonsurf is proven to extend life in this group of patients by 3.2 months meaning patients have more time to spend with loved ones.

Lonsurf is an oral therapy which has limited side effects so for people who may be at the end of their life and are unable to go to the hospital, it is a convenient and accessible form of treatment.

Asha Kaur, Policy Manager at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “This recommendation is a huge step forward in increasing the treatment options for bowel cancer. Currently people with advanced disease have limited treatments available to them on the NHS meaning lives are being cut short unnecessarily. The approval of Lonsurf will now give both clinicians and patients’ choice when they have run out of options.

Survival rates for advanced bowel cancer are poor with less than one in ten people surviving more than five years. These patients deserve access to the best quality treatment and care and they and their families also deserve hope - hope to spend more time together, hope to celebrate another birthday and hope to see another Christmas.”  

This is the first third-line treatment (a treatment for patients who have already had treatment and failed to respond to it), for bowel cancer to be approved by NICE.

Lonsurf will be funded by the Cancer Drugs Fund for the next 90 days meaning patients can access the drug now before it moves into standard NHS funding.

We are determined to improve survival and support for people with advanced bowel cancer. It’s one of our campaigning priorities. Find out more   

We're currently carrying out a survey to better understand the patient experience of being diagnosed and treated with advanced bowel cancer. Take the survey 

If you’ve had access to Lonsurf or any other bowel cancer drug, please share your experiences with us. Fill out our simple share your story form