Pronounced Tee-sen-trick

Tecentriq, also known as atezolizumab, is a treatment for advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC).

How Tecentriq works 

Tecentriq is an immunotherapy that works by attaching to a specific protein in your body called ‘PD-L1’. Cancer cells with high levels of PD-L1 are hidden from your immune system. By attaching to PD-L1, Tecentriq makes your cancer visible again so your immune system can fight your cancer.

Registered indications

Non-small cell lung cancer

Tecentriq is registered by Medsafe for the treatment of NSCLC taken by itself (monotherapy), either as initial treatment for patients who have high levels of PD-L1 in their tumour, or if the cancer is advanced or spread to other parts of the body and has come back after previous treatment with a different type of medicine.

Tecentriq can also be taken in combination with other medicines, such as Avastin (bevacizumab) and/or chemotherapy, when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Small cell lung cancer

Tecentriq is registered for the treatment of patients with ES-SCLC if no prior treatment for ES-SCLC has been received. In the initial phase of treatment, Tecentriq will be given with the chemotherapy medicines etoposide and carboplatin. This will be followed by Tecentriq given by itself.

Clinical Trial Data 

The safety and efficacy of Tecentriq for the treatment of NSCLC and SCLC has been studied in numerous clinical trials.

Non-small cell lung cancer

Tecentriq, either taken by itself or in combination with other medicines, has shown to improve progression-free survival and overall survival in the following patient groups:

Small cell lung cancer

Tecentriq in combination with chemotherapy is the first major treatment advance for ES-SCLC in 20 years being the first immunotherapy combination to improve survival.

Keep in mind that everyone is different, and the response and benefit you may experience cannot be predicted. Ask your doctor about the clinical evidence for Tecentriq and if it is right for you.

Possible side effects of Tecentriq

Tecentriq is not the same as chemotherapy, however, as is the case with all medicines, treatment with Tecentriq can cause side effects.

You will find a list of known side effects in the Consumer Medicine Information here.

Talk to your doctor to see if Tecentriq is right for you, or if you have any questions or concerns.

How to access Tecentriq

Tecentriq is not publicly funded by PHARMAC. This means you will have to pay for this medicine. Paying for treatment requires careful thought, but there are financial options and programmes that may help you fund private treatment.

If you have health insurance, carefully check what’s covered — every health insurance provider has different rules and benefits that cover cancer treatment, surgery, tests and doctor appointments. Roche also offers support through a Cost Share Programme.

The Tecentriq Cost Share Programme
• Caps the total amount you will pay for your medicine.
• Provides you with ongoing treatment at no cost once you reach the cap (other costs such as doctor fees and administration payments will still apply).
Patients usually pay for each cycle as they go, meaning they only pay for treatment while they benefit from it.
Your doctor will be able to give you more information regarding the cost of your treatment and the criteria for enrolling in the Tecentriq Cost Share Programme.

Ready to take the next step?

Because every situation is different, it’s important to speak to your doctor to find out if Tecentriq is right for you.

If you’re considering treatment with Tecentriq

We’ve put together a discussion guide to help you begin a conversation with your doctor. Print it off, take it along to your next appointment, and take notes in the spaces provided.

Talking to your doctor about Tecentriq

For further information about private treatment providers click here.

You can also talk to your current doctor about referral to a private doctor or treatment centre.

To learn more about how medicines become available in New Zealand, click here.

Handy resources

Tecentriq Consumer Medicine Information
Click Here

Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) 1200mg/20mL and 840mg/14ml is a Prescription Medicine used for advanced or metastatic (spreading) non-small cell lung cancer, extensive stage small-cell lung cancer, advanced or metastatic urothelial (bladder and urinary system) cancer, advanced or metastatic triple negative breast cancer and unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

Tell your doctor if: you have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus; you have inflammation of the lungs (pneumonitis); you have liver problems, such as hepatitis; you have thyroid problems; you are taking other medicines; you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes; you are pregnant or breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with Tecentriq.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms: inflammation of the lungs (new or worsening cough, shortness of breath and chest pain); inflammation of the liver (yellowing of skin or eyes, nausea, vomiting, bleeding or bruising, dark urine, and stomach pain); inflammation of the intestines (diarrhoea, blood in stools, and stomach pain); inflammation of the thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands (tiredness, weight loss, weight gain, changes in mood or behaviour, visual disturbances, increased sensitivity to cold or heat, slow or rapid heart rate, hair loss, constipation, headache, and dizziness); type 1 diabetes mellitus (feeling more hungry or thirsty than usual, need to urinate more often, weight loss, and feeling tired); inflammation of the brain or spinal cord (neck stiffness, headache, fever, chills, vomiting, eye sensitivity to light, confusion and sleepiness); inflammation of the nerves (muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in hands and feet); inflammation of the pancreas (abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting); inflammation of the heart muscle (shortness of breath, feeling tired, irregular heart beat or chest pain); inflammation of the kidneys (dark and/or frothy urine, high blood pressure, swelling to face, feet, legs and hands; inflammation of muscles (muscle pain or stiffness or skin rash); infusion reactions (fever, chills, shortness of breath and flushing), or any inflammation of the skin.

Possible common side effects may also include: loss of appetite; diarrhoea; shortness of breath; itching of the skin; dry skin; rash; nausea; fever; chills; vomiting; difficulty swallowing; flu-like symptoms; nasal congestion; stomach, back, muscle, bone, joint or throat pain; cough; sore throat; tiredness; common cold; headaches; being short of breath when exercising; urinary tract infection; lung infection; dizziness, light-headedness, looking pale, fainting; bleeding or bruising; mouth ulcers and/or cold sores; constipation; numbness or weakness of the arms and legs; high blood pressure; hair loss; a change in the way things taste.

Tecentriq has risks and benefits. Ask your doctor if Tecentriq is right for you. Use strictly as directed. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your healthcare professional. For further information on Tecentriq, please talk to your health professional or visit www.medsafe.govt.nz for Tecentriq Consumer Medicine Information.

Tecentriq is not funded by PHARMAC. You will need to pay the full cost of this medicine. A prescription charge and normal oncologist fees may apply.

Consumer Panel dated 21 January 2021