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Reimbursement for Anti-GD2 immunotherapy for neuroblastoma

The Dutch National Health Care Institute recently adopted dinutuximab beta (anti-GD2) in the basic benefits package. Thereby ending a long period of uncertainty with respect to the eligibility for reimbursement for this expensive type of immunotherapy.

As of 2016, the Princess Máxima Center has started to offer anti-GD2 immunotherapy for children suffering from high-risk neuroblastomas. The Princess Máxima Center was the first European centre to provide anti-GD2 based immunotherapy. At that moment, it was not included in the basic benefit package, thereby creating considerable uncertainty with respect to the eligibility for reimbursement for this costly therapy. Eligibility for reimbursement was dependent upon the patients’ health insurer, hence there was much need for an appropriate statutory regulation. The Dutch health insurance companies therefore joined forces with the Dutch Childhood Cancer Parent Organisation and the Princess Máxima Center and requested the Dutch government (the National Health Care Institute) to asses this issue.

Anti-GD2 immunotherapy is provided to children at the end of treatment (including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation). It is an intensive treatment for an additional 6 months, and prolongs the total length of treatment to 15 months. The therapy increases the chances of survival by approximately 10 percent. So far, 27 patients have been treated with this type of immunotherapy in the Princess Máxima Center.