A news release from the Canadian Breast Cancer Network landed in my inbox last Wednesday. It contained the fantastic news that Kadcyla (formerly known as TDM-1) has been approved "on a time limited basis" for "HER-2 positive, metastatic breast cancer patients who have initiated or completed at least two lines of HER-2 targeted therapy and who have not received Kadcyla in previous lines of therapy."
This is very positive news. As I wrote in back in June, the drug was initially only approved for women in their "second line" of treatment which would exclude me. This despite the fact the many women in later phases of treatment have responded enormously well to the drug (each stage of chemotherapy/targeted therapy treatment is a "line." If one line fails or stops working, a patient is moved on to the next. I have been in my second line of treatment since being diagnosed with metastasis in November 2007.)
In other words, this announcement means that I, a woman with Her2+ metastatic breast cancer, will potentially be eligible for Kadcyla
when if Herceptin fails.
This has been a rough week in Canada. The events of last Wednesday completely eclipsed this news, even for those of us who care deeply. I live in Ottawa. My kids' schools and my husbands office were locked down all day. My brother-in-law works at the House of Commons and was very close to where bullets were fired. I spent the day glued to my computer screen, watching the news and refreshing Twitter. Despite a host of rumours, it was a great relief to learn at the end of the day that there had only been one gunman but for much of the day, we just didn't know. It was harrowing. And such a tragedy.
I decided to wait for the dust to settle to post this little bit of news but then another big, sad story erupted on the weekend and I once again found myself glued to social media. Last night, there were some I follow posting pictures of kittens and puppies on Twitter, just to have something more positive to in their news streams.
So while the dust hasn't settled, I wanted to share my own little bit of something positive. I'm just left wondering what "for a limited time" means. Will the province then withdraw coverage? Or is this like a trial to see if it makes sense to continue?
|My contribution to adding #somethingnice to my Twitter stream. A dog in Hallowe'en costume!|
The Canadian Breast Cancer Network calls this "a step in the right direction." Let's hope the province takes more and more permanent steps soon. Let's keep the good news coming.