Cetuximab for the Treatment of Locally Advanced Squamous Cell Cancer of the Head and Neck (TA145)

Technology Appraisal Guidance No. 145

Source: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

1. Guidance

1.1 Cetuximab in combination with radiotherapy is recommended as a treatment option only for patients with locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck whose Karnofsky performance-status score is 90% or greater and for whom all forms of platinum-based chemoradiotherapy treatment are contraindicated.

1.2 Patients currently receiving cetuximab in combination with radiotherapy for the treatment of locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck who do not meet the criteria outlined in section 1.1 should have the option to continue therapy until they and their clinicians consider it appropriate to stop.

1.3 When using Karnofsky performance-status score, clinicians should be mindful of the need to secure equality of access to treatment for patients with disabilities. Clinicians should bear in mind that people with disabilities may have difficulties with activities of daily living that are unrelated to their prognosis with respect to cancer of the head and neck. In such cases clinicians should make appropriate judgements of performance status taking into account the person's usual functional capacity and requirement for assistance with activities of daily living. 


The guidance shown above constitutes Section 1 of the full document. A copy of the full document and a summary of the evidence is available on the Internet at http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=byID&o=12006

An abridged version of this guidance (a 'quick reference guide') is also available. Printed copies of the quick reference guide can be obtained by contacting 0845 003 7783 or emailing publications@nice.org.uk and quoting reference number N1608. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=download&o=40997

This guidance represents the view of the Institute which was arrived at after careful consideration of the available evidence. Health professionals are expected to fully take it into account when exercising their clinical judgement. This guidance does not, however, override the individual responsibility of health professionals to make appropriate decisions in the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.

© Copyright National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved. This material may be freely reproduced for educational and not for profit purposes within the NHS. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of the Institute.

Enquiries concerning the guidance should be addressed to: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, MidCity Place, 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NA. email: nice@nice.org.uk

Cetuximab for the Treatment of Locally Advanced Squamous Cell Cancer of the Head and Neck.
Issue Date: June 2008
Review Date: March 2011

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