~ Melanoma Network of Canada commends Government of Ontario for making
Zelboraf available through public funding ~
OAKVILLE, ON, Sept. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, the Melanoma Network of
Canada applauds the Government of Ontario for providing funding for
Zelboraf (vemurafenib) and urges other provinces across the country to
do the same. Ontario is now the third province in Canada to add
Zelboraf to the provincial formulary for eligible patients, after
Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
"We commend the Government of Ontario for providing public funding for
Zelboraf, and hope that other provinces will take the necessary steps
to ensure access for all Canadians," said Annette Cyr, chair of the
Melanoma Network of Canada. "Patients with metastatic melanoma have
been without adequate treatment options for 30 years, and all Canadians
deserve access to the same high quality of care, regardless of where
Zelboraf, a monotherapy treatment for BRAF mutation-positive
unresectable or metastatic melanoma, is the first personalized medicine
for metastatic melanoma. It targets cancer cells with a specific
genetic mutation (BRAF) that can be detected through a simple genetic
test, allowing oncologists to implement the most effective and
efficient treatment plan for each individual patient. Zelboraf was
approved by Health Canada in February, 2012.
"I am pleased to see that the Ontario government has added Zelboraf to
the provincial formulary, as, historically, the treatment landscape for
metastatic melanoma has been bleak," said Dr. Anthony Joshua, Melanoma
Medical Oncologist. "Personalized treatments like Zelboraf give me the
confidence that I am prescribing the right treatment to the right
patients at the right time. Not only does this help the patients living
with this devastating disease, but it ensures that health care
resources are being used efficiently. "
For information on melanoma or to get involved, please visit us at www.melanomanetwork.ca.
Melanoma is one of the fastest-growing cancers worldwide, and can affect
anyone regardless of sex, age or race.i It is one of the most frequently-diagnosed cancers in Canada, affecting
5,800 people in 2012 and causing 970 deaths.i
The incidence of melanoma has been increasing for the past 30 years,ii more rapidly among men than any other cancer, and more rapidly among
women than any other cancer except lung cancer.iii
About the Melanoma Network Canada (MNC)
Melanoma Network Canada (MNC) is a patient-led organization dedicated to
the prevention and elimination of melanoma. Established in 2009 by a
small group of patients and caregivers, the MNC works in collaboration
with medical professionals, health care agencies and other stakeholders
to educate, advocate and fund for early diagnosis and effective
treatment of melanoma, education, prevention and awareness programs,
relevant and innovative research, support for patients and an improved
quality of life for those living with melanoma.
i Melanoma Network of Canada. Facts Summary. Available at: http://melanomanetwork.ca/page.php?page=14. Accessed August 8, 2012.
ii Public Health Agency of Canada. Melanoma Skin Cancer Facts and Figures.
Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/cancer/melanoma_skin_cancer_figures-cancer_peau_melanome_figures-eng.php. Accessed August 8, 2012.
iii Horn-Ross, P.L., Holly, E.A., Brown, S.R., et al. Temporal trends in
the incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma among Caucasians in the
San Francisco-Oakland MSA. Canc Causes Contr.1991; 2(5):299-305.
SOURCE: Melanoma Network of Canada
For further information:
Annette Cyr, Chair
Melanoma Network of Canada