Canadians living with advanced kidney cancer now have a new treatment option. Health Canada has now approved SUTENT for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
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Sherri Dmyterko: Two years ago Wiley Vogel was diagnosed with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma, a form of advance kidney cancer. Male Speaker: When I was first diagnosed and we saw the doctor and he said the word cancer and that just hit us very much as a shock and as a surprise. I was always very healthy up until point and I have got two young children I have got a wife; lot of plans for life. So it was a real shock. Female Speaker: But then Wiley began taking a medication called Sutent. Sutent was recently approved by Health Canada for patients who have not responded to or are intolerant of other medication. Doctor Jennifer Knox is a medical oncologist in Toronto. Jennifer Knox: The approval of Sutent in advance kidney cancer based on the clinical tried out data is very exciting news for treatment of patients with this terrible disease. It really represents a big step forward in therapeutic options and also holds a lot of promise for further improvements in the future. Male Speaker: When I first heard about Sutent I heard that this was a drug that could slow down or seize the growth of tumors and my hope it originally at the time where it was the summer of time and I thought if this drug can get me through the Christmas that would really nice. It would be nice to have one more Christmas with my family and I was just absolutely pleased and felt so incredibly blessed when we found out first cycle of the drug that the tumors were starting to shrink. Female Speaker: The Canadian Cancer Society estimate that in 2006, 4600 Canadian will be diagnosed with kidney cancer and 1500 will die from it and of those newly diagnosed with the disease about 30% will have an advanced forms. Advance kidney cancer has a very poor prognosis and until recently there have been few treatment options. Jennifer Knox: The new indication by Health Canada for Sutent in advance kidney cancer is very exciting news for patients with this disease. Previously there have been very limited options of any type of therapy for this disease. Sutent was shown in clinical trials to be in an effective active drug in this disease. And so now patients have an option, an effective option that they never had before. Female Speaker: Currently Sutent is under review by government reimbursement agencies and insurance companies. While that review is underway Pfizer Canada, the maker of Sutent has a created a program known as First Resource. First resource insures the patients who needs Sutent receive the drug as quickly as possible regardless of their ability to pay. Male Speaker: The First Resource program is a way to access the drug now that it is approved here in Canada and they can provide assistance with insurance coverage or a financial assistance in order to be able to access the drug. Health care professionals and patients can learn more about Pfizer’s First Resource program by calling 18896 first that’s 188-963-4778; Sherri Dmyterko reporting.