"People with advanced skin cancer should be able to receive ipilimumab as a first treatment, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) proposes.
"In final draft guidance, NICE recommends that the drug ipilimumab (also called Yervoy and manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals Limited) is made available on the NHS as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced malignant melanoma which is either unresectable (when the full tumour cannot be removed) or metastatic (the cancer has spread to other parts of the body).
"Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, said: 'We already recommend ipilimumab as a second-line treatment and so we are pleased to be able to propose extending that recommendation to first line treatment too.' "
Editor's note: The UK's public healthcare system is required to provide funding for treatments recommended by NICE. To learn more about targeted melanoma drugs like ipilimumab, read The Basics.