Select language:  
1800 620 420
Close menu

T-cell lymphoma medicine now accessible for all Australians

T-cell lymphoma medicine now accessible for all Australians

Wednesday, 28 March 2018
The Leukaemia Foundation welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that the cancer medicine pralatrexate, sold under the name Folotyn, will be added to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 April 2018.

Folotyn is used to treat patients aged 18 years or older with peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) after previous treatments have not worked or have stopped working.

PTCL is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma a cancer of the lymphatic system. It develops from mature T-cells, a type of white blood cell that play a central role in the immune response of the body. PTCL may be found in the lymph nodes, skin, bone marrow, liver, or spleen.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch says the announcement is an important step to ensure all Australians living with PTCL have access to the treatment they need.

“This listing will make a substantial difference. It means that Australians with PTCL who have run out of treatment options can access this treatment which is showing remarkable results. We are another step closer to a time when no one will die from this disease,” Mr Petch said.

PTCL accounts for approximately 7% of all non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases, equating to about 440 Australians diagnosed each year. It commonly affects people aged over 60 years, however diagnosis can occur anytime in adulthood. It is slightly more common in men than it is in women.

The Leukaemia Foundation is the only national charity dedicated to helping those with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders survive and then live a better quality of life.

The Leukaemia Foundation invests in blood cancer research leading to clinical breakthroughs through a variety of mechanisms, including a new partnership with Cancer Australia’s Priority driven-Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme.

 

Read more about peripheral T-cell lymphoma here.

Leukaemia Foundation supports myeloma biomarker breakthrough

Leukaemia Foundation supports myeloma biomarker breakthrough

Research released by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute today identifying the IL-18 molecule as an important biomarker for myeloma is being hailed an important step by the Leukaemia Foundation.

Myeloma is a blood cancer which affects the body’s plasma cells – the cells that produce antibodies. Myeloma develops when these plasma cells undergo a cancerous change and become myeloma cells, multiplying at an increased rate and taking over the bone marrow.

As a result bones can become weaker and break more easily. Patients also experience anaemia, bone pain, kidney damage, frequent infections and increased bleeding and bruising.

The QIMR study has found the IL-18 molecule supresses the immune system, creating an environment where cancer was more likely to grow, therefore
resulting in poorer survival rates for patients living with the disease.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Bill Petch, says the study, which was supported by a consortium of funders, is testament to a collaborative approach
to research, helping institutes such as QIMR target the most promising and cutting edge discoveries to achieve real outcomes for people living with blood cancer.

“Prioritising research that will achieve tangible outcomes for people living with cancer today is an essential part of the research equation,” Mr Petch said.

“Collaborations like these across the health system, including pharmaceutical companies, Government and cancer authorities, is what will project incredible findings like this into tangible treatment outcomes sooner.”

New and promising direction

Currently myeloma is treated according to the progression of the disease, increasing in its intensity as the disease progresses. There is currently no cure for the 1,800 people in Australia who are diagnosed with myeloma every year; however treatment can be successful in controlling the disease, sometimes for several years.

The findings of Professor Mark Smyth and Dr Kyohei Nakamura of the QIMR Berghofer indicate a new and promising direction for further research into myeloma, which it is hoped in years to come, may help shape a more personalised
approach to the treatment of people living with this type of blood cancer.

The Leukaemia Foundation is the only national charity dedicated to helping those with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders survive and then live a better quality of life.

The Leukaemia Foundation invests in blood cancer research through a variety of mechanisms, including a new partnership with Cancer Australia’s Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme.