Llanelli Star - - Celebrity Wellbeing -

HUN­DREDS of pa­tients with the most ag­gres­sive type of skin can­cer could ben­e­fit from a drug af­ter it was ap­proved for use on the NHS.

Drug company No­var­tis said the com­bi­na­tion of dabrafenib and tram­e­tinib has been rec­om­mended as a treat­ment op­tion for the treat­ment of adult pa­tients with stage III melanoma with a BRAF V600 mu­ta­tion, fol­low­ing surgery.

More than 500 peo­ple are di­ag­nosed with BRAF-mu­tated stage III melanoma in the UK ev­ery year.

Stage III melanoma means that can­cer cells have spread into skin, lymph ves­sels or lymph glands close to the melanoma but not to more dis­tant parts of the body.

Un­til now, there were no re­im­bursed drug treat­ments that of­fered clear ben­e­fits for these pa­tients fol­low­ing surgery, and as a re­sult, nearly half (44%) of those with BRAF V600 mu­tated melanoma suf­fer a re­cur­rence within a year af­ter surgery, with the risk that the can­cer pro­gresses to an in­cur­able state.

No­var­tis said clin­i­cal trial re­sults showed the drug com­bi­na­tion re­duced the risk of melanoma re­turn­ing or death by more than 50%.

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