The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently published fndings from the pivotal Phase II ERIVANCE BCC study, which showed that vismodegib may provide significant clinical beneft for up to 2,000 patients in the UK with advanced basal cell carcinoma (aBCC). The study showed that vismodegib, a once a day pill, shrank tumours or healed visible lesions in 43% of patients with locally advanced BCC and in 30% of patients whose cancer had metastasised. While BCC is the most common cancer in Europe, if left untreated or recurrent, it can develop into a disfiguring and potentially life threatening advanced form of BCC. It occurs when basal cell carcinoma has either expanded into the surrounding tissue (locally advanced) or spread to other parts of the body (metastatic BCC), and can have disfiguring and debilitating effects and may even lead to death. There are currently no approved medicines for advanced BCC available in the UK. Dr John Lear, Consultant Dermatologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary said: “This is promising news for people with advanced BCC, who until now have had no medicinal treatment options and often have to deal with potentially disfiguring surgery, usually to the face, head and neck, that could result in the removal of an eye or ear. If approved in the UK, vismodegib could set a new standard of care in the treatment of this devastating type of skin cancer.” Data from the ERIVANCE BCC study contributed to the approval of vismodegib by the US Food and Drug Administration in January 2012. Roche is working closely with the European Medicines Agency and appropriate local authorities to help ensure vismodegib is available to those people who will benefit from treatment as soon as possible. Vismodegib is currently available in the UK through clinical trials. The study also found that median duration of progression free survival (PFS) on treatment was 9.5 months.