Author: Anoma Ranaweera, Staff Writer, 2012.

Advanced basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is usually curable if the lesions are restricted to a small area of the skin. However, in rare cases, the lesions can become disfiguring, invade surrounding tissue, or metastasize. In these instances of advanced BCC, the disease cannot be effectively treated with surgery or radiation — the standard treatments.

What is vismodegib?

On January 30, 2012, the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) approved vismodegib (Erivedge®, made by Genentech, Inc. USA) for the treatment of adults with metastatic basal cell carcinoma. It is not currently funded by PHARMAC in New Zealand (Aug 2016).

Vismodegib is intended for use in adult patients with locally advanced basal cell cancer who are not candidates for surgery or radiation and for patients whose cancer has metastasized.

This is the first FDA-approved drug for use in advanced forms of BCC, one of the most common skin cancers.

How is vismodegib administered?

How does vismodegib act?

Link to key clinical-trial evidence about vismodegib

Potential drug interactions with vismodegib

Adverse events associated with vismodegib

The most common adverse reactions (incidence of 10% or more) associated with vismodegib are:

Use in pregnancy

Use of vismodegib in nursing mothers

Blood donation

Paediatric use

Geriatric use

Hepatic impairment

Renal impairment

Cardiac electrophysiology

Future considerations for vismodegib

Roche and Genentech are currently evaluating vismodegib in a phase 2 trial for patients with operable forms of BCC.

New Zealand approved datasheets are the official source of information for these prescription medicines, including approved uses and risk information. Check the individual New Zealand datasheet on the Medsafe website.

Related information

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