A DRUG that could improve survival rates for children with a rare form of cancer has been approved for use by the NHS in Scotland.

Dinutuximab beta – also known as Qarziba – is expected to benefit seven children with neuroblastoma per year.

The disease is a cancer of the nerve cells, occurring mainly in very young children.

Neuroblastoma UK chairman Tony Heddon said: “The fact that more children will now be able to potentially benefit from this immunotherapy will provide much-needed reassurance for families affected across Scotland.

“Children battling this disease need all the help they can get.”

Children with neuroblastoma can suffer a range of symptoms including nausea and vomiting, bone pain, weight loss, bleeding and kidney damage.

The drug can improve survival rates and potentially delay the progression of the disease for patients who have not responded to initial treatments.