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[2 min read] Two melanoma treatments added to the PBS

Two treatments for advanced melanoma have had their PBS listings adjusted to include more patients.

Opdivo (nivolumab) and the combination treatment Yervoy are now available in subsidised form to patients earlier in their treatment pathway.

These changes reflect new evidence on the effectiveness of these therapies and the value that they bring to patients with invasive melanoma. Yervoy can now be used in first-line treatment of metastatic melanoma.

As GPs, this makes the early detection of melanoma especially important. It is essential that we all understand the need to take seriously any suspicious lesion on the skin and to promptly perform an appropriate biopsy (typically excision biopsy with 2mm margins of a suspicious pigmented lesion).

If the diagnosis of invasive melanoma is confirmed, I recommend a phone call to the local melanoma unit to discuss the results, and determine whether the unit wants the patient referred for further assessment and treatment.

Professor David Wilkinson

Learn more with HealthCert Certificate Courses in Skin Cancer:

Skin Cancer Certificate Courses in Australia

More information on the recent listing is found here.

Read more recent research.

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