Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) Applauds Ontario Government for Funding Herceptin Patients who Have Relapsed

Access now available for eligible HER2-positive metastatic patients

OTTAWA, Nov. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) commends the Ontario government's decision to fund Herceptin in the second-line setting for women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

Until now, patients who responded well to initial treatment of Herceptin when first diagnosed have been denied access to the same treatment following disease progression. Yesterday's decision will enable many women whose breast cancer has progressed to receive Herceptin in the second line setting, offering them a chance to extend their lives.

CBCN has been working with patients to advocate for access to standard of care across Canada. The organization has also heard from many other Canadians who have offered their support and time to help fight for these women to have a second chance using this lifesaving drug.

"We want to thank the Ontario government for looking into the evidence and making this important decision, which offers tremendous hope for so many women fighting metastatic HER2-positive   breast cancer," says Cathy Ammendolea, chair of CBCN. "We would also like to thank our members for actively embracing this issue. It's incredible to see the amount of support that exists within the breast cancer community."

While fewer patients relapse due to the success of Herceptin in earlier stages of breast cancer, an unmet medical need has continued to exist for metastatic patients requiring the treatment beyond the first-line setting.

Ontario joins British Columbia and Saskatchewan in approving funding for Herceptin for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients who have been previously treated with it.

HER2-positive breast cancer is an aggressive form of the disease that affects 20 to 25 per cent of patients.

SOURCE Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN)

For further information:

Ashley Mac Isaac-Butler
Government Relations & Policy Manager
Canadian Breast Cancer Network
613-230-3044
Amacisaac-butler@cbcn.ca

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Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN)

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