Nova Scotia Confirms Commitment to Fund Avastin



    TORONTO, Aug. 15 /CNW/ - The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada
(CCAC) congratulates the government of Nova Scotia for honouring its promise
to fund Avastin (bevacizumab), an important medication in the treatment of
advanced colorectal cancer.
    "We are thrilled that the government of Nova Scotia has followed through
on its commitment to provide colorectal patients with a medication that can
extend their lives and potentially lead to a cure when coupled with surgery,"
said Barry Stein, president of the CCAC. Avastin, a novel therapy, targets
blood vessels that feed tumours, cutting off their blood supply which can halt
progression and lead to shrinkage.
    Avastin will be provided for metastatic colorectal cancer patients in
first or second-line treatment, in combination with chemotherapy. The funding
has begun and will be fully phased in by October 06, 2008. In addition,
patients who purchased Avastin out-of-pocket after April 1 will be eligible
for reimbursement retroactive April 1.
    "We believe this to be an important signal that Nova Scotia is serious
about helping its patients. We also look forward to Nova Scotia's colorectal
screening program to be launched in the near future so that all Nova Scotia
citizens can benefit from an effective prevention program," said Stein.
    Nova Scotia joins Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and
Newfoundland in providing Avastin to its citizens.

    Notes to Editors:
    -----------------
    About Colorectal Cancer

    Colorectal cancer - cancer of the colon or rectum - is the second-leading
cause of cancer death in Nova Scotia and in Canada. The disease surpasses both
breast and prostate cancer in mortality.
    Though over 90 per cent preventable and curable when detected early, an
estimated 21,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and
approximately 8,900 will die from it.
    An estimated 820 Nova Scotians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer
this year and about 360 will die from the disease.

    About the CCAC

    The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is the country's leading
non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of colorectal
cancer, supporting patients, and advocating for national screening and timely
access to effective treatments for the disease.





For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview with a patient or
physician, contact: Barry Stein, President, (514) 944-0200,
barrys@colorectal-cancer.ca; OR Hilary Christo, Communications Officer, (416)
920-4333, hilaryc@colorectal-cancer.ca

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Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada

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