Charities have described a move to accept a treatment for use within the NHS in Scotland as "fantastic news" for women with incurable secondary breast cancer.

The decision by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to recommend eribulin, also known as Halaven, for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in patients who have already received a number of treatments was announced on Monday.

However, it also rejected a drug for the routine treatment of early-stage cases of the disease.

Following consideration under the Patient and Clinician Engagement (Pace) process, the SMC said it was unable to recommend pertuzumab, or Perjeta.

A treatment for advanced skin cancer was also turned down while medicines for heart failure and prostate cancer were the others to be given the green light by the committee.

Nicolas White, head of Breast Cancer Care Scotland, said the news was "mixed" for women with breast cancer.

He added: "Women with aggressive forms of primary breast cancer will be disappointed that pertuzumab has not been approved for use within NHS Scotland.

"When combined with other drugs before any surgery, this promising treatment could help them avoid gruelling mastectomies and reduce the risk of the cancer returning or spreading.

"For women with incurable secondary breast cancer, it's fantastic news that eribulin has finally been accepted for routine use, after previously being rejected.

"It is the second medicine of this kind to be approved in the last month and will give a lifeline to many."

Mary Allison, Breast Cancer Now's director for Scotland, said: "We welcome the SMC's decision to approve eribulin.

"This gives women in Scotland who are living with incurable secondary breast cancer more treatment options and hope of more time to live."

The prostate cancer treatment approved was enzalutamide, following consideration by an independent review panel convened by SMC.

It had previously been accepted for use in patients who have already received chemotherapy but this submission related to the medicine's use at an early stage, which was rejected in August last year.

Heather Blake, director of support and influencing at Prostate Cancer UK, said it was a "triumph" for those who helped challenge the initial decision.

Sacubitril/valsartan, also known as Entresto, was approved to treat chronic heart failure and offers a further treatment option for patients suffering from the condition.

However, the decision not to recommend the use of Opdivo, or nivolumab, in the treatment of advanced skin cancer was greeted with disappointment by some health chiefs.

Dr Marianne Nicolson, consultant medical oncologist, said: "Immunotherapies such as nivolumab have been shown to improve significantly survival in metastatic melanoma and also are generally well tolerated, so the decision to withhold funding is disappointing."

SMC chairman Professor Jonathan Fox said: "We know from the powerful inputs we received from patient groups that our advice on medicines for advanced breast cancer, chronic heart failure and prostate cancer will be welcomed.

"Unfortunately, the committee was not able to recommend pertuzumab for early stage breast cancer in the pre-surgery setting or nivolumab for advanced melanoma.

"Uncertainties in the evidence for both these medicines meant the committee was concerned they may not represent a good use of NHS resources."

Melanoma Action and Support Scotland (MASScot) said it was disappointed but understood the SMC's decision.

Chair Leigh Smith said: "We have been fortunate that the SMC have in recent years made several new drugs available for melanoma therapy despite the very high costs of long-term therapy.

"Pembrolizumab - (a drug very similar to Nivolumab) - was approved for first-line use recently and we hope that it will soon be available for second line use also.

"We are confident that when the price is right Nivolumab will become available. It is up to the company to re-submit with a more appropriate price structure."

Speaking about the rejection of Perjeta for early-stage breast cancer patients, Richard Erwin, general manager of pharmaceutical company Roche Products, said: "We are committed to working in collaboration with both the SMC and the Scottish Government to ensure that all eligible patients in Scotland can access Perjeta and other innovative medicines now and in the future."

Astellas Pharma Limited said it was "delighted" the SMC accepted enzalutamide, also known as Xtandi.

Rob Jones, professor of clinical cancer research, said: "This decision from the SMC means that men with prostate cancer that has spread, and where initial hormone treatments have stopped working, can now access a choice of treatments, including enzalutamide, before having to turn to chemotherapy. This is important because it means these men can continue to live a normal life before symptoms start to become problematic."