Health Canada has approved Nexavar, the first treatment confirmed to significantly improve the survival rate of those with advanced liver cancer.
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Sherri Dmyterko: Every year in Canada both 1300 Canadians are diagnosed with liver cancer, and of that number half will die. But now Health Canada has approved Nexavar for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma; the most common form of primary liver cancer in adults. Accounting for up to 90% of our cases, and for Wally Wasylyk who was diagnosed with late stage liver cancer two years ago, that means a brighter future. Wally Wasylyk: When I was first diagnosed with liver cancer, my doctor told me I had four to six months left to live, and he said that I was already too late for chemo. But he told me about this drug called Nexavar, and asked me to try it. And it's done wonders for me so far. My doctor put me in Nexavar March 14, 2006 and I have been in a remission for all over year. Sherri Dmyterko: Nexavar works by targeting the proteins involved in both cell growth and blood supply; two important processes that enabled cancer growth. Dr. Morris Sherman is a clinical hepatologist in Toronto. Dr. Morris Sherman: Nexavar is significant breakthrough the treatment of liver cancer because for the group of patients, for whom a drug is intended, until now we have nothing to offer them. Before Nexavar was available, their chances of surviving or an average somewhere between 7 to 8 months. Now, that Nexavar is available, there's a good chance for extending their life span significantly beyond that. Sherri Dmyterko: Health Canada's approval of Nexavar was based on positive data from our Phase 3 randomized Global Clinical Trial called the Sharp trail. The sharp trial demonstrated that Nexavar improved overall survival in liver cancer patients by 44%. Wally Wasylyk: I am so happy to hear that Nexavar had been approved in Canada. It work wonders for me, so I hope it works wonders for other liver cancer patients. Sherri Dmyterko: For more information about treatment options for liver cancer speak with your doctor. Sherri Dmyterko reporting.