Skin Cancer

Department of Health written question – answered on 4th December 2015.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to improve outcomes for patients with advanced melanoma.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The independent Cancer Taskforce’s new five-year strategy for cancer recommends improvements across the pathway, with the aim of improving survival rates, including for patients with advanced melanoma. NHS England is currently working with partners across the health system to determine how best to take forward the recommendations in the strategy, and has appointed Cally Palmer as NHS National Cancer Director to lead on managing its implementation.

In July 2015, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidelines on the assessment and management of melanoma. Further information is available at:

In addition, NICE is currently developing a quality standard which will cover prevention, assessment, diagnosis and management of skin cancer (non-melanoma and malignant melanoma) in children, young people and adults. The anticipated publication date for this quality standard is August 2016.

NICE has also recommended a number of drugs for the treatment of melanoma, including: ipilimumab, vemurafenib and pembrolizumab, and is currently in the process of appraising others. More information is available on NICE’s website at:

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