Oslo Cancer Cluster member Photocure ASA, is pleased to announce that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK has published its first guidelines on bladder cancer, recommending photodynamic diagnosis for improved detection of bladder cancer. NICE makes evidence-based recommendations for healthcare, with the aim of improving treatment and reducing variations in care.
The NICE guidelines recognize cystoscopy as the standard for diagnosis and follow up for patients with bladder cancer, and recommend that people with suspected bladder cancer should be offered surgical removal of the tumor using white-light guided cystoscopy supported by additional techniques to improve tumor detection, such as photodynamic diagnosis.
Kjetil Hestdal, President and CEO of Photocure, said: “We are pleased to have photodynamic diagnosis included in the NICE guideline for diagnosis and management of bladder cancer. This is another important milestone providing further evidence of the value of Hexvix/Cysview in the diagnosis and management of bladder cancer patients. NICE is internationally recognised and well respected for its evidence-based recommendations.”
Photodynamic diagnosis of bladder cancer involves the instillation of a photosensitive compound, such as Hexvix®/Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate), into the bladder. Hexvix/Cysview accumulates in tumor tissue and fluoresces pink under blue light, allowing cancerous areas on the lining of the bladder to be distinguished from healthy tissue.2 Using Hexvix/Cysview as an adjunct to standard white-light cystoscopy (WLC) enables the urologist to better detect and remove lesions compared with white-light cystoscopy alone. After applying stringent cost-effectiveness analyses, NICE concluded “Photodynamic diagnosis appears to be a cost-effective alternative to WLC as an initial diagnostic test.”
Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Europe, accounting for an estimated 124,000 newly diagnosed cases and more than 40,000 deaths in 2012. Bladder cancer has a high recurrence rate (up to 78% of patients experience recurrence within 5 years of their initial diagnosis), making the lifetime costs of managing bladder cancer one of the highest of all cancers. If bladder cancer is detected at an early stage, the risk of recurrence can be reduced, and management and long-term outcomes for patients improved.
Per-Uno Malmström, Professor of Urology at Uppsala University, Sweden, said: “NICE is a leading authority in healthcare management; this recognition by NICE of the benefits that can be achieved from photodynamic diagnosis will open the door to improved management of bladder cancer for many patients.”
Gregers Hermann, Chief Urologist at Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen University, Denmark, stated: “Patients with bladder cancer deserve the best evidence-based diagnosis and management of their disease. NICE guidelines highlight the proven value of photodynamic diagnosis in terms of achieving cost-effective diagnosis as well as reducing the risk of recurrence for patients with bladder cancer.”
The full NICE bladder cancer guidelines can be found here: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng2 
About Photocure ASA
Photocure ASA, headquartered in Oslo, Norway, is a specialty pharmaceutical company and world leader in photodynamic technology. Based on our unique proprietary Photocure Technology® platform, Photocure develops and commercialises highly selective and effective solutions in disease areas with high unmet medical need, such as bladder cancer, HPV and precancerous cervical lesions, colorectal cancer and skin conditions. Our aim is to provide solutions that can improve health outcomes for patients worldwide. Photocure is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: PHO). Information about Photocure is available at www.photocure.com .
Hexvix®/Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate hydro-chloride) is an innovative breakthrough technology in the diagnosis and management of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It is designed to selectively target malignant cells in the bladder and induce fluorescence during a cystoscopic procedure using a blue-light enabled cystoscope. Using Hexvix®/Cysview® as an adjunct to standard white-light cystoscopy enables the urologist to better detect and remove lesions, leading to a reduced risk of recurrence. Hexvix®/Cysview® is approved in Europe and the USA.