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
Great time had at this year's Barmah Muster.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Friday’s annual primary inter-school cross country meet will see a broader variety of students taking part, as well as the introduction of a new finish line.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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