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
Community support needed for drug and alcohol treatment centre near Numurkah.
Yarrawonga/Mulwala's largest ever professional golf event, the Shepparton BMW Senior Victorian Open, got underway today with 124 players hitting off from 8am to 1pm on Yarrawonga's Black Bull Golf Course at Silverwoods.
Tatura’s rainfall for the last three months of 2015, 116.6mm, was marginally down on the long-term average for the same period, 120.8mm.
JON Lam’s exhibition Heart to Art will open at Alton Gallery on Friday
THE second annual Christmas town party in Lockington did not quite attract the crowd organisers were hoping for, but it failed to dampen their spirit.
Special supplement in this weeks edition
For Tocumwal’s Lynda Snowden, working the land hasn’t stopped her from falling in love with the majestic surrounds of her day to day life.
TOOLLEEN Recreation Reserve Committee of Management presented three awards on Australia Day in front of 80 local residents.
The cuteness level at Maryanne Ryan’s place is overflowing the bucket, with the arrival of baby Dougal the donkey.
Deniliquin doctor Marion Magee says she is disgusted with the treatment of local nurses.
Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone has been criticised by two Victorian MPs for suggesting the Federal Government should stop spending money on the $2 billion irrigation modernisation program until problems are sorted out.
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