The European Medicines Agency has given its licensing approval to the first skin cancer treatment in more than four decades with the drug, known as Ipilimumab, hitting the British market on Monday.
Costing in excess of £75,000, ipilimumab is to be injected four times and works by helping the immune system to fight more effectively against the cancer cells.
AdvertisementThough the treatment has been approved by EMA, the British regulatory body, NICE, is yet to approve the availability of the treatment in the NHS.
Stating that the approval presents a major breakthrough in treating skin cancer, the senior lecturer in Medical Oncology at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Paul Lorigan said, "The authorization of ipilimumab represents a real advance in the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma as this is the first treatment for 30 years in the UK to extend patients' life expectancy."
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