TECENTRIQ
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TECENTRIQ ®

What is TECENTRIQ?

TECENTRIQ is a prescription medicine used to treat previously treated advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). TECENTRIQ contains the active ingredient atezolizumab.

Your doctor may prescribe TECENTRIQ when your lung cancer:

  • Has come back after previous chemotherapy treatment, and
  • Has spread to other parts of the body.



  • How TECENTRIQ works

    TECENTRIQ belongs to a group of medicines called immunotherapies which work with your body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. TECENTRIQ works by attaching to a specific protein in your body called PD-L1. This protein makes the immune system in the body work less well. By attaching to the PD-L1 protein, TECENTRIQ helps your immune system to recognise and fight cancer cells.

    TECENTRIQ is not the same as chemotherapy. Here are some key points and differences between TECENTRIQ and chemotherapy:


    CHEMOTHERAPY TECENTRIQ
    • You will have previously been treated with chemotherapy for your lung cancer.
    • TECENTRIQ is an immunotherapy, so it helps your body’s own immune system recognise and fight cancer cells.
    • Chemotherapy medicines kill or damage rapidly dividing cells anywhere in the body, including cancer cells, but also healthy cells.
    • Because immunotherapy works in a different way than chemotherapy it doesn’t commonly cause the chemotherapy-related side effects, such as the increased risk of infections.
    • Common side effects of chemotherapy include nausea (feeling sick in the stomach), hair loss, feeling tired, or an increased risk of infections.
    • TECENTRIQ is generally well tolerated compared to chemotherapy, as patients get less side effects and they are generally less serious. Hair loss in particular is quite rare with TECENTRIQ. That said, like most medications, side effects can still occur such as fatigue, nausea or diarrhoea.
    • Please see Patient Booklet for more details.


    Cancer immunotherapies, such as TECENTRIQ, can also cause immune related side effects, which may need immediate medical attention. If you are considering going onto a cancer immunotherapy, such as TECENTRIQ, please speak to your healthcare professional about all the potential side effects prior to treatment and how you can manage these should they occur.



    WITHOUT TECENTRIQ WITH TECENTRIQ
    • Cancer cells can produce a protein called PD-L1 which helps them ‘hide’ from the cells of your immune system, so they can multiply and grow.
    • TECENTRIQ allows your immune system to recognise and attack the cancer cells by blocking the PD-L1 protein.



    Potential side effects of TECENTRIQ

    All medicines can have side effects. Not everyone will experience the same side effects, and some people may have no side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get side effects. The most common side effects of TECENTRIQ for the treatment of lung cancer include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Decreased appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Nausea (feeling sick in the stomach) or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

  • Some side effects can only be found when your doctor does tests to check on your progress (e.g. blood tests). Ask your medical team to answer any questions you may have.


    IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY BEING TREATED WITH TECENTRIQ YOU CAN GET FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS AND HOW TO TREAT THEM IN OUR PATIENT BOOKLET LISTED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. IF YOU NOTICE ANY SYMPTOMS OR FEEL UNWELL, CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR OR MEDICAL TEAM IMMEDIATLELY.



    Accessing TECENTRIQ

    TECENTRIQ is approved by Medsafe for use in previously treated, advanced, NSCLC. Medsafe is the New Zealand government agency responsible for determining the safety, quality and efficacy of medicines supplied and advertised in NZ.

    TECENTRIQ is not publicly funded by PHARMAC, the NZ government drug-buying agency. Therefore, at the moment you will need to access TECENTRIQ at a private treatment centre. Roche has a Cost Share Programme to help with the cost of TECENTRIQ for those who need it. This programme is designed to help reduce the cost of medicines which are not funded by PHARMAC.

    You can ask your healthcare professional about referral to a private treatment centre. For further information about private treatment centres you can click on the link at the bottom of this page to review where the different private treatment centres are in New Zealand, so you can consider which one is best for you to attend.



    Cost of TECENTRIQ

    As TECENTRIQ is not yet funded by PHARMAC, Roche has created a Cost Share Programme to help make TECENTRIQ more affordable to patients in New Zealand.

    Ask your doctor if TECENTRIQ is right for you and for details of the Cost Share Programme.



    More Information


    Talking to your Healthcare Professional about TECENTRIQ

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    In order to help you have a discussion about TECENTRIQ, download the Talking to your Healthcare Professional about TECENTRIQ question sheet. Feel free to print it off and take it to your appointment.

    If you are already on or about to start TECENTRIQ, download the TECENTRIQ Patient Booklet below.




    Patient Booklet

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    This booklet is for people with advanced NSCLC who have previously been treated with chemotherapy and are now being treated with TECENTRIQ. It is designed to help you understand more about NSCLC and the role of TECENTRIQ in your treatment.

    You’ll find answers to some of the common questions about TECENTRIQ, including what it is, how it works, and how it’s given.

    It also contains important safety and side effect information, and a list of useful resources for further information.

    Please keep in mind that the booklet is not intended to replace medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare professionals.