What has NICE said?

Talimogene laherparepvec (Imlygic) is recommended in adults. It is a possible treatment for unresectable metastatic melanoma (Stage IIIB, IIIC or IVM1a) that has not spread to bone, brain, lung or other internal organs. It is only recommended if systemically administered immunotherapies are not suitable.

What does this mean for me?

If you have unresectable metastatic melanoma, and your doctor thinks that talimogene laherparepvec is the right treatment, you should be able to have the treatment on the NHS.

Talimogene laherparepvec should be available on the NHS within 3 months of the guidance being issued. If you are not eligible for treatment as described above, you should be able to continue having talimogene laherparepvec until you and your doctor decide it is the right time to stop.

The condition and the treatment

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Unresectable means that the cancer can't be completely removed by surgery. Metastatic means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma is divided into 5 main stages that are numbered 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Doctors often write the stage number in Roman numerals – 0, I, II, III and IV. Stages I, II and III are divided into smaller stages that are described using letters of the alphabet, for example stage IIIB. The stages are based on a number of factors including how big the melanoma is and whether or not it has spread.

Systemically administered immunotherapies include ipilimumab, pembrolizumab and nivolumab. But they are not suitable for everyone.

Talimogene laherparepvec is a drug that helps the body's immune system to recognise and destroy melanoma cells. It is given by injection.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more.

These organisations can give you advice and support:

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2089-1

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