A YORK woman fighting cancer has spoken of her disappointment to see drugs which could help people like her has been rejected by the national health watchdog.

Last week NICE - the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - turned down breast cancer drug Kadcyla for widespread use because of its high price - £90,000 per patient.

The drug, which was tested at the Sheffield Cancer Centre, can help breast cancer patients when surgery is not possible and other treatments aren't working, giving women a "last hope" and extending their life by up to six months.

Rose Merritt, 36, was diagnosed with breast cancer in April this year. Although she is responding well to treatment and her type of cancer would not be treated with Kadcyla Rose, from Poppleton, said she is frustrated to see a groundbreaking new treatment stopped in its tracks.

Rose said her type of cancer, along with the cancers Kadcyla helps, tends to be contracted by younger people.

"If my cancer progresses, it can be very aggressive and the prognosis wouldn't be good, so I can understand a little of how people will be feeling," she added

"I can see it also provides a higher quality of life because the side effects don't appear to be as bad. It could help young people who have lives they want to get on with for as long as possible."

Rose, who works as a fundraiser for Yorkshire Cancer Research, said her work keeps her up-to-date with progress in cancer treatment, making it especially frustrating for her to see several breast cancer drugs being declined by NICE, when Kadcyla in particular has been approved by equivalent bodies in European countries.

Government body NICE has criticised the pharmaceutical company behind the drug - Roche - for refusing the lower the price of its drug, saying the company knew the £90,000 price is above even a specially extended price bracket for cancer treatments.

But last week Roche is reported to have said that it had offered to cut the price of the drug and would be appealing against NICE's decision.