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
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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