Melanoma Network of Canada pleased that this initial decision brings Canadian melanoma patients one step closer to having access to life-extending drugs
OAKVILLE, ON, March 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The Melanoma Network of Canada is pleased that the Canadian regulatory body, pCODR (pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review) has made an initial recommendation that includes positive clinical evaluations for the latest treatments for metastatic melanoma. This is tremendous news for melanoma patients who for decades had far too few treatment options and are now one step closer to having two advances that can improve their survival chances.
"What these latest therapies give the melanoma community is hope and a fighting chance at survival," said Annette Cyr, Chair of the Melanoma Network of Canada. "There is no question that for patients who need these treatments, time is of the essence. The Melanoma Network of Canada is urging the provinces to follow the pCODR recommendation and make provincial funding decisions a priority."
The treatments, Yervoy and Zelboraf, represent two different approaches to treat metastatic melanoma and each individually is an important advance in this field and a new option to give patients a fighting chance.
"Having these two new treatments available to patients will revolutionize the treatment of metastatic melanoma," said medical oncologist Dr. Anthony Joshua. "The clinical evidence supporting Yervoy and Zelboraf is strong and I hope these treatments will reach clinics across the country quickly so that melanoma patients will have critically needed treatment options available."
Melanoma is one of the fastest-growing cancers worldwide, and can affect anyone regardless of sex, age or race. It is one of the most frequently-diagnosed cancers in Canada, affecting 5,500 people in 2011 and causing 950 deaths.1
The incidence of melanoma has been increasing for the past 30 years,2 more rapidly among men than any other cancer, and more rapidly among women than any other cancer except lung cancer.3
About the Melanoma Network Canada (MNC)
Melanoma Network Canada (MNC) is a patient-led organization dedicated to the prevention and elimination of melanoma. 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 as well as providing education and awareness programs; and support for patients for an improved quality of life for those living with melanoma.
For information about melanoma or to get involved, please visit us at www.melanomanetwork.ca.
1 Melanoma Network of Canada. Facts Summary. Available at: http://melanomanetwork.ca/page.php?page=14. Accessed March 29, 2012.
2 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 March 29, 2012.
3 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.
For further information:
Annette Cyr, Chair
Melanoma Network of Canada