Skin Cancer

Know your options

Skin cancer may be common in New Zealand, but each and every person who receives a diagnosis will be uniquely impacted.

You’ll have a variety of emotions to navigate, and you’ll have plenty of questions. So will your family and friends.

Knowing that you’re getting the best possible treatment available may lessen some of that uncertainty.

Roche offer several treatments for skin cancer that have shown efficacy in clinical trials but are not funded by PHARMAC. It’s possible that one of them may be right for you.

Types of skin cancer

There are three main types of skin cancer:

– BCC (basal cell carcinoma)
– SCC (squamous cell carcinoma)

Roche currently offer medications that are suitable for some forms of BCC and a particular type of melanoma. Each has been approved by Medsafe.

If you are affected by a different form of skin cancer, talk to your doctor about what other options may be available for you.

Roche skin cancer medicines available in New Zealand

Zelboraf® (vemurafenib) and Cotellic® (cobimetinib)

A combination targeted therapy for the treatment of melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body or cannot be removed by surgery. Zelboraf and Cotellic can only be used if your melanoma has a change (mutation) in the BRAF gene. Your doctor will test you for this gene mutation to make sure this treatment is suitable for you.

Erivedge® (vismodegib)

A targeted therapy for the treatment of aBCC (advanced basal cell carcinoma) that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic) or to surrounding areas (locally advanced) and surgery or radiation is not appropriate.