When melanoma has spread around the body it is known as stage 4 or metastatic melanoma. When the disease gets to this stage, it is sadly notoriously difficult to treat. The standard treatment is only effective in a small number of cases and is highly unlikely to produce a cure.
In recent years, scientists have been working tirelessly in trying to find a cure for melanoma. Sadly, we have not reached this point yet, but in November 2012 after many appraisals that we were a part of, two new drugs, Ipilimumab and Vemurafenib were given approval for use on the NHS. These drugs, whilst not a cure, have been proven to extend the lives of late stage melanoma patients. This will make a huge difference to the lives of patients and their families.
Following further NICE appraisals, Pembrolizumab is another approved treatment for advanced melanoma patients, you will often hear this referred to as a ‘PD1″ and at the beginning of 2016 Nivolumab received a positive decision from NICE. Decisions like this provide much more hope for patients living with a diagnosis of advanced melanoma.
If you have queries about anything you see on our site, drugs, treatments or clinical trials, please let us know and we will do our best to help and put you in contact with the correct people. It could be that you are not being treated at a cancer centre and you would like the opportunity to explore that possibility.