NICE technology appraisal guidance
Issued: June 2008
TA145

Cetuximab for the treatment of locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck

This is an extract from the guidance. The complete guidance is available at guidance.nice.org.uk/ta145

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.