Two patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham were among the first in the country to start receiving a new anti-cancer drug within days of it being granted a licence.

The patients, both men aged 31 and 60, have both been prescribed the skin cancer drug Vemurafenib, currently awaiting approval by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Mr Nicholas White, consultant plastic surgeon at the hospital, said: “We have been previously recruiting patients for the trials which have now finished and we have now begun treating two patients with this new drug.

“They are among the first patients in the country to get it on prescription.”

Queen Elizabeth Hospital has one of the largest melanoma centres in the UK.

Dr Neil Steven, consultant medical oncologist said had previously only been limited treatments for stage four melanoma, which is where the cancer has spread through the body.

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