Government to fund encorafenib and binimetinib on PBS for colon cancer

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Diagnosis and Battle with Cancer

My partner Lela was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer last year. Before this diagnosis she was working as a veterinarian and living in Melbourne. She has had to endure surgeries, recurrent admissions and procedures as well as gruelling chemotherapy to try and shrink her tumours as much as possible to prolong her life. We have been told that there is currently no cure in sight but we continue to stand by her side as she endures treatment in the hope that a new therapy might soon be discovered. Genetic testing has also found that she has a more aggressive form of the cancer, it specifically has a mutation in the BRAF gene. In layman terms the BRAF gene controls a growth receptor in these tumours which is stuck in a permanent “on” state in this cancer.

New Treatments and New Hope

A recent trial called BEACON has shown that patients with a specific form of colorectal cancer (BRAF mutated) benefit from a new drug combination (encorafenib and binimetinib) which is not currently funded by PBS for this indication. Currently, the only option is self-funding these drugs which costs more than $8,000 per month. Because of the exorbitant costs we started a GoFundMe to begin her initial treatment after first-line chemotherapy had failed. 

We implore Mr Greg Hunt review and fast-track the addition of Encoranfenib and Binimetinib to the PBS schedule for treating BRAF mutated colon cancer. PBS funding for this combination will help all Australian citizens diagnosed with this form of colon cancer.

We think that all Australian citizens who are diagnosed with this form of cancer deserve to receive the best proven treatment for this disease.