The challenges that histology independent cancer drugs will pose for NICE and the NHS.

A histology independent cancer drug targets all solid tumours with a certain genomic mutation, regardless of the primary tumour’s histology. Histology independent drugs are indicated for a multitude of tumour types, as long as they express the mutation.

The prevalence of these mutations is often low, so the clinical evidence to inform reimbursement decisions for histology independent drugs can be immature and based on studies with extremely small sample sizes. This makes it challenging to assess whether the drug will provide value for money to health systems.

This paper, published in the British Medical Journal, looks at how histology-independent cancer drugs might be appraised by organizations such as UK's NICE.