Brain cancer drugs approved in England

April 11, 2007

England's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has removed a ban on two drugs that may help patients with rare life-threatening brain cancer.

Temodal and Gliadel may now be obtained through the National Health Service. The 2005 ban was based on cost-effectiveness.

The Times of London says the ban caused anger because Temodal was actually invented by British scientists with funding from Cancer Research UK.

Gliadel is a wafer that, when placed at the site where a brain tumor was removed, clears remaining cancer cells and keeps the tumor from recurring, the newspaper said.

Both drugs have been available in the United States and Canada.

Ella Pybus, spokeswoman for a consortium of cancer charities, said, "Everyone is relieved."

She said there is "solid evidence" the drugs help patients.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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