Durvalumab for the Treatment of Locally Advanced, Unresectable, Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: An Evidence Review Group Perspective of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal

Willem J. A. Witlox*, Antoinette D. I. van Asselt, Robert Wolff, Nigel Armstrong, Gill Worthy, Annette Chalker, Titas Buksnys, Lisa Stirk, Jos Kleijnen, Manuela A. Joore, Sabine E. Grimm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)


As part of the Single Technology Appraisal (STA) process, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) invited the manufacturer (AstraZeneca) of durvalumab (IMFINZI(TM)) to submit evidence for the clinical and cost effectiveness of durvalumab for the treatment of patients with locally advanced, unresectable, stage III non-small cell lung cancer whose tumours express programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) on >= 1% of tumour cells and whose disease has not progressed after platinum-based chemoradiation therapy. Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd, in collaboration with Maastricht University Medical Centre, was commissioned to act as the independent Evidence Review Group (ERG). This paper summarises the company submission (CS), presents the ERG's critical review on the clinical- and cost-effectiveness evidence in the CS, highlights the key methodological considerations, and describes the development of the NICE guidance by the Appraisal Committee. The CS included a systematic review that identified one randomised controlled trial, comparing durvalumab with SoC. Participants with tumours expressing PD-L1 on >= 1% of tumour cells accounted for approximately 40% of the total participants. In this subgroup, a benefit in progression-free survival (PFS) [hazard ratio (HR) 0.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.31-0.63] and overall survival (HR 0.54, 95% CI 0.35-0.81) was reported. Adverse events were comparable between both treatments, but more serious adverse events were reported for durvalumab (64/213 [30%] vs. 18/90 [20%]). The ERG's concerns regarding the economic analysis included a likely overestimation of PFS for the durvalumab arm, the choice of timepoint for treatment waning, as well as the way treatment waning was incorporated in the model, and potential overestimation of utility values without applying an age- or treatment-related decrement. The revised ERG base-case resulted in a deterministic incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 50,238 pound per quality-adjusted life-year gained, with substantial remaining uncertainty. NICE recommended durvalumab as an option for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund only in a subpopulation (concurrent platinum-based chemoradiation therapy) with a commercially managed access agreement in place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Early online date9 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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