Yervoy sets benchmark for the promising new era of cancer immunotherapy
VANCOUVER, Nov. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - The Save Your Skin Foundation is
thrilled that Yervoy has been recognized for its important
contribution as a pioneer in the new dawning era of treatments for the
most deadly of skin cancers, metastatic melanoma. This ground-breaking
treatment has been recognized by the Prix Galien Canada and received
the 2013 Innovative Product Award which is considered the most
prestigious award in Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation.
The recognition of Yervoy has particular significance for the Save Your
Skin Foundation. Ten years ago, Foundation President and Founder Kathy
Barnard was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, for which the average
life expectancy at the time was about six months. She was part of one
of the early clinical trials for Yervoy and is alive and healthy today
and fully committed to working through the Foundation to help to
prevent other Canadians from getting skin cancer and to support
patients and their families who are currently dealing with this deadly
"Yervoy is the reason I am alive today, so it is immensely gratifying to
see this hugely innovative and valuable treatment honoured with the
Prix Galien Canada," said Kathy. "Yervoy represents the start of an
exciting and very promising new era in treating metastatic melanoma,
and also other cancers, as it opens the way to other new therapies
that, like Yervoy, harness the body's immune system to fight cancer."
Dr. Michael Smylie, an oncologist specializing in melanoma and lung
cancer at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, who treated Kathy,
agrees that Yervoy is the start of a new and exciting approach to
cancer treatment - immunotherapy. "Yervoy has led the way to making
immunotherapy a viable approach. It has received recognition because of
the way it works. In simple terms, Yervoy works by taking the brakes
off the body's immune system, giving it more power to fight the cancer
cells that are invading the body and harming it."
"With the arrival of treatments like Yervoy, we now have a new way to
treat cancer. We have to stop thinking of surgery, radiation, and
chemotherapy as the only options. Among those patients who respond to
immunotherapy, we have seen some remarkable and long-term results, such
as with Kathy," added Dr. Smylie.
About Melanoma in Canada
Every year, thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with melanoma, with the
incidence of the disease increasing faster than that of any other
cancer. Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer characterized by the
uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) located in
the skin. One in 74 men and 1 in 90 women are expected to develop
melanoma during their lifetime. Melanoma is clearly visible on the
skin, and 90 per cent of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV light,
including tanning beds.
About the Save Your Skin Foundation
The Save Your Skin Foundation is a Canadian not-for-profit foundation.
Through events and other initiatives, the Foundation focuses on:
raising funds for education and awareness, providing emotional and
financial support to those dealing with melanoma and non-melanoma skin
cancers, and on supporting the ongoing research and treatment of skin
cancer - especially melanoma.
For more information, please visit www.saveyourskin.ca.
SOURCE: Save Your Skin Foundation
For further information:
Madelynn Festing, Media Relations
Save Your Skin Foundation