A NEW life-saving skin cancer drug, first used by a former teacher from Shirley, has been approved by a health watchdog.
Sixty-year-old Robin Bridgman was given the anti-melanoma drug Vemurafenib, after his cancer spread into his neck and liver.
The grandad-of-three and another man being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Edgbaston, became among the first to be prescribed the treatment when it was granted a licence earlier this year.
Now NICE – the National Institute for Clinical Excellence – has approved Vemurafenib for the disease, with experts calling this the biggest breakthrough in the treatment of melanoma for more than 30 years.
Ex-deputy head, Mr Bridgman, who worked at Hall Green School, had his ear removed after a birthmark become cancerous. The disease later spread.
Dr James Larkin, who led the clinical trial at The Royal Marsden, said: “We are already seeing the positive impact this drug is having on our patients, and clinical trials have shown a very significant prolongation of life in comparison with chemotherapy.”