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keytruda (8)

North and South's series on Keytruda

It's worth getting your hands on copies of the last two North and South magazines (Jan/Feb). Veteran journalist Donna Chisholm investigates the latest immunotherpy drugs, Pharmac, and the effect of non-supply of cutting edge drugs on New Zealanders with cancer.

In January's issue, HNC was mentioned. In February's it is more about melanoma and funding formulae. The third part will be in March. North and South does not have an online version but articles are sometimes published on…

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Funding for Keytruda in 2018?

Keytruda, the immunotherapy drug, is expected to be registered in New Zealand this year for head and neck cancer, says a spokesperson from the drug company Merck.

Once it is registered Merck will make a submission to Pharmac for funding.

At the moment, it can be provided in private clinics but like all of these unfunded drugs it is very expensive. Givealittle accounts are often formed so that patients can access a…

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A recent NZ Herald story about a young woman with recurrent nasopharyngeal cancer aroused our interest in the immunotherapy drugs Keytruda and Opdivo, approved in NZ but not funded for HNC. 

Eve McGauley was only 15 when she contracted the disease. She went through the awful…

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Patient Story. Skin cancer of head and neck.

John is a member of the Head and Neck Living Well Group run by the Cancer Society's Christchurch Centre. While his cancer is melanoma, the treatments John has experienced are only too familiar to us: radical neck dissection, radiotherapy and skin grafts.

Keytruda is approved for head and neck cancer too but is not yet funded for HNC by the DHBs. 

There is an overlap between skin cancers…

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Wednesday Weekly - 19 April 2017

Progress is being made in NZ in publicising the incidence of head and neck cancers and gaining resources to fight them. Progress still feels slow compared to some other countries though (see stories below) and there’s a long way to go – but the trajectory is definitely upward.

Meanwhile consider: A line of paint on the road holds more authority than I ever will or maybe.  It's been 82 years. Schrödinger's cat is definitely dead by now. Check it out here..…

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Wednesday Weekly - 17 November 2016

Keytruda/nivolumab continues to gain attention as the latest great hope in cancer treatment with studies and reports from the U.K., U.S. and elsewhere. However most of those reports do admittedly seem to talk about improved survival rates in terms of months rather than complete cures. On the brighter side the globally recognised increase in H & N cancers has sparked an upsurge in research projects and new developments are reported regularly.
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