Kate Wagner is closer to receiving breakthrough melanoma medication after authorities approved its use in Australia.MONIQUE FREER May 28, 2014 3:31am
Kate Wagner was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma after the birth of her son Maclan in July. Benalla Ensign on 8/01/2014 CAPTION: Kate Wagner was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma after the birth of her son Maclan in July.
Benalla mother Kate Wagner is one step closer to receiving potentially lifesaving medication after Australian medical authorities granted access to an experimental melanoma drug.
After pleas from cancer patients, their families and medical professionals, the Therapeutic Goods Administration last week granted advanced melanoma patients access to a limited amount of the PD-1 drug, MK-3475.
Mrs Wagner was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma last July, one week after giving birth to her son Maclan.
After doctors found two tumours in her brain and two in her right lung she had two craniotomies and whole-brain radiation, in anticipation of beginning a clinical trial of the breakthrough new melanoma drug.
However as the disease progressed the clinical trial closed, leaving her without access to the medication.
Instead Mrs Wagner began treatment on Yervoy — which has just a 20 per cent success rate — and began campaigning for Australian access to the PD-1 drug.
The Benalla mother is yet to know whether she will have access to the drug that was hailed as a breakthrough in the United States.
‘‘While I felt intense relief when I found out accessibility for Australians was to become reality, my feelings were somewhat mixed,’’ Mrs Wagner said.
‘‘I am still a few weeks away from knowing if I am eligible to receive the drug as I must first wait to finish the current treatment I am receiving. When and if I do become eligible, there is no word yet on how many places are available and indeed how long the sponsored aspect of the program will run.’’
The program is now open for application, and Mrs Wagner said if and when she got the drug depended on several factors.
‘‘How long it takes to actually receive MK-3475 will depend on the individual circumstances of the patient, and how quickly their oncologist submits their information,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m excited for my fellow late-stage sufferers and their families, but nervous for my own — and I will stay that way until I have the needle in my arm.’’
Although she faces a nervous wait until that time, Mrs Wagner said the decision brought her a sense of personal accomplishment.
‘‘It validates all of those nights where I set my alarm for 3
The event will be held at Farmers Arms Hotel from 11.30
Mrs Wagner’s mother Lois Jackson and stepdaughter Lizzy Wagner are among those who will shave their heads.
To donate goods, services or vouchers, phone Julie Harrison on 0422
To register to shave or colour your hair, phone Sam Elenitsas before June 1 on 0403
A Tatura mother of two young girls says she has lost everything after fire engulfed her house.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Moama’s Lachie Schultz made his state league footy debut on Sunday for Williamstown’s Seagulls.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
The usual yellow and black colours at Katamatite Recreation Reserve will be replaced this Mother’s Day as pink will be the colour of choice.
Jake has babies to thank for surviving cancer.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
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