Two drugs hailed as one of the biggest breakthroughs in treating advanced malignant melanoma in three decades have finally been given the green light by the governments rationing body.
Yervoy and Zelboraf have been approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and are being offered to patients whose tumours have spread to other parts of the body. Dr James Larkin, a medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, said: “There had been a perception among doctors that melanoma was different and impossible to treat. This drug (Zelboraf) shows that isn’t the case and at last we have hope in our fight against this terrible cancer.”
Although the drugs are not a cure, they have been shown to extend the lives of those suffering from nine months to sixteen months, opening up the prospect that malignant melanoma, similar to some other cancers, could be contained and hopefully in the future, cured.