Melanoma Network of Canada excited by promising results from major skin
cancer study

Experimental drug to fight deadliest form of skin cancer increases overall survival

OAKVILLE, ON, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The Melanoma Network of Canada is excited with the new hope that long-anticipated results of a late-stage skin cancer trial brings to patients with advanced melanoma. The results, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, show increased survival with the experimental treatment ipilimumab in patients with previously-treated metastatic melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Results show that nearly half of patients treated with ipilimumab survived at one year and after two years, nearly one quarter of patients given the drug were still alive. This is the first treatment to show survival benefits in patients with advanced melanoma - a type of cancer where options are limited.

"Ipilimumab is the first drug to ever demonstrate a positive impact on survival in melanoma," says Dr. David Hogg, Director, Melanoma Oncology Site Group at University Health Network and an investigator in the Canadian portion of the study. "We are looking forward to bringing this medication into clinical practice in Canada a quickly as possible."

"Melanoma can spread quickly and once it does, it's almost always fatal if it metastasizes," says Annette Cyr, Chair of the Melanoma Network of Canada. "The Melanoma Network of Canada is excited about what these study findings mean for patients and looks forward to the approval and availability of this treatment to patients in Canada."

Ipilimumab is an investigational compound being developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb. It is currently not approved by Health Canada.

About Melanoma

Melanoma is a rare but deadly form of skin cancer. An estimated 5,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with melanoma this year. Nearly 950 will die from it. The survival rate for melanoma is high if it is detected early and unlike many cancers, melanoma is clearly visible on the skin. 90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight,including tanning beds.

About Melanoma Network of Canada (MNC)

The Melanoma Network of Canada (MNC) is a national, patient-led organization established in 2009.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, and support for patients and an improved quality of life for those living with melanoma.

SOURCE Melanoma Network of Canada

For further information: For further information: Annette Cyr, Melanoma Network of Canada, (289) 242-2010, acyr@melanomanetwork.ca; Martha Linton, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4734, martha.linton@hillandknowlton.ca


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