Quebec shows leadership in supporting men and women with advanced
prostate and breast cancer
OTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Today the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network
(CCSN) congratulates the Quebec government for providing access to an
innovative new treatment, Xgeva® (denosumab), for the prevention of
debilitating bone complications, known as skeletal-related events
(SREs) in men and women with advanced prostate or breast cancer which
has spread to the bone. Quebec is the first province in Canada to list
Xgeva on public and private drug plans.
"The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network applauds the government of Quebec
for making Xgeva available to men and women with advanced breast or
prostate cancer and bone metastases," said Jackie Manthorne, President
and CEO, CCSN. "We call on each of the provinces to follow in the
footsteps of Quebec to make this important treatment available to the
patients who need it."
CCSN provides a voice for people affected by cancer. It believes that
all Canadians battling all types of cancers must have access to new
treatments, both for the cancer itself and complications arising from
the cancer, such as SREs. Further, its mandate is to ensure that
Canadians have access to all of the approved medications they need for
Xgeva is now listed as a médicament d'exception for the prevention of SREs for people with castrate-resistant prostate
cancer, presenting at least one bone metastasis; and for the prevention
of SREs for people with breast cancer, presenting at least one bone
metastasis and who show intolerance to pamidronate.
About bone metastases
One of the most common places for breast and prostate cancer to spread
is to the bone. In fact, 65 to of 75 per cent of men and women with
advanced prostate or breast cancer will have the cancer spread to their
Once cancer has spread to the bone, a number of serious complications
can occur, known as SREs. Approximately 50 to 70 per cent of all cancer
patients with bone metastases will experience debilitating SREs, such
as fractures or spinal cord compression, which necessitates procedures
like major surgery and radiation.2,3,4,5 Such complications can profoundly impact a patient's quality of life
and cause disability and pain. In people with advanced cancer, SREs are
associated with increased illness and death, and can place a
significant economic burden on the healthcare system.6
While there are currently no treatments to prevent or delay the spread
of cancer to the bones, treatments like Xgeva, for the complications of
bone metastases, helps prevent or delay broken bones, spinal cord
compression, or the need for surgery or radiation from occurring.
About Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN)
The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network is a national network of patients,
families, survivors, friends, families, community partners and
sponsors. Its mission is to work together by taking action to promote
the very best standard of care, support, follow up and quality of life
for patients and survivors. It aims to educate the public and policy
makers about cancer and encourage research on ways to alleviate
barriers to optimal cancer care in Canada. Follow CCSN via their blog
1 Coleman, RE. Skeletal complications of malignancy. Cancer. 1997; 80 (suppl): 1588-1594.
2 Coleman, RE. Skeletal complications of malignancy. Cancer. 1997; 80 (suppl): 1588-1594.
3 Dictionary of Cancer Terms - spinal cord compression. National Cancer
Institute website. http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary. Accessed Aug. 31, 2010.
4 Saad F. Impact of bone metastases on patient's quality of life and
importance of treatment. Eur Urol. 2006; 5(suppl): 547-550.
5 Janjan NA. Radiation for bone metastases. Cancer. 2000:80:1628-1645.
6 Schulman K and Kohles J. Economic burden of metastatic bone disease in
the U.S. Cancer. 2007: 109 (11):2334-2342.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN)
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