Survival, Durable Tumor Remission, and Long-Term Safety in Patients With Advanced Melanoma Receiving Nivolumab

Complimentary copies of Best of JCO (Journal of Clinical Oncology) have been made available at the ASCOAnnual Meeting.

More specifically, we’d like to share a JCO article on melanoma and the survival, durable tumor Remission, and long-term safety in patients with advanced melanoma receiving Nivolumab.


Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) is an inhibitory receptor expressed by activated T cells that downmodulates effector functions and limits the generation of immune memory. PD-1 blockade can mediate tumor regression in a substantial proportion of patients with melanoma, but it is not known whether this is associated with extended survival or maintenance of response after treatment is discontinued.

Patients and Methods
Patients with advanced melanoma (N = 107) enrolled between 2008 and 2012 received intravenous nivolumab in an outpatient setting every 2 weeks for up to 96 weeks and were observed for overall survival, long-term safety, and response duration after treatment discontinuation.

Median overall survival in nivolumab-treated patients (62% with two to five prior systemic therapies) was 16.8 months, and 1- and 2-year survival rates were 62% and 43%, respectively. Among 33 patients with objective tumor regressions (31%), the Kaplan-Meier estimated median response duration was 2 years.

Seventeen patients discontinued therapy for reasons other than disease progression, and 12 (71%) of 17 maintained responses off-therapy for at least 16 weeks (range, 16 to 56+ weeks). Objective response and toxicity rates were similar to those reported previously; in an extended analysis of all 306 patients treated on this trial (including those with other cancer types), exposure-adjusted toxicity rates were not cumulative.

Overall survival following nivolumab treatment in patients with advanced treatment–refractory melanoma compares favorably with that in literature studies of similar patient populations. Responses were durable and persisted after drug discontinuation. Long-term safety was acceptable. Ongoing randomized clinical trials will further assess the impact of nivolumab therapy on overall survival in patients with metastatic melanoma.

To link to abstract online and to download full article click here.

Read more

InnoviCares, Canada’s only free multi-drug manufacturer patient benefit plan

We’re so glad to be able to share this benefit plan with our network.

Save Your Skin members and their families can visit: to view a list of participating products and to register for your free drug reimbursement card.

If you have a prescription to fill immediately, you can download and print off a temporary card that you can use at your pharmacy right away. Your welcome kit, including a personalized plastic innoviCares card, will follow in the mail within 2-3 weeks. More on this program can be found here: Save Your Skin and innoviCares

Yesterday, innoviCares issued a press release marking their 600,000 member on April 28, 2014, and their participation rates show signs of acceleration through increasing partnerships and widespread patient satisfaction.

Employers, associations, physicians, and pharmacists have widely embraced the program, and for countless patients innoviCares offers significant financial savings and stability in their healthcare.

You can find out more here: Free Drug Benefit Plan Supports Over Half a Million Canadians

Read more

Melanoma Patient Event – May 8, 2014 in Abbotsford, British Columbia

The Save Your Skin Foundation is hosting a Melanoma Patient Information Session on Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 7:30pm – 8:30pm in Abbotsford, B.C.

The session will provide critical information and resources, as well as the rare opportunity to speak to and hear from leading experts in oncology and dermatology.

To reserve a seat at any of the free patient sessions, please email or call 1-800-460-5832.

Further details on the 2014 Patient Sessions are below:


Thursday, May 8, 2014

7:30pm – 8:30pm

Valley Room – Ramada Hotel, Abbotsford

Dr. Winson Cheung

Tickets (free): 

To read the related press release visit: press/saveyourskin/melanoma

Read more

Save Your Skin Foundation Turns Up the Heat With Annual Melanoma Fundraiser

Celebrated Vancouver Blues Rock Band, Hot Lucy, to Perform at Annual Fundraiser for Skin Cancer

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – May 1, 2014) – The Save Your Skin Foundation is thrilled to announce its annual fundraising event for melanoma, Hot Lucy – Stage 4 – Blues Night. The event will help to raise critical funds and awareness needed to help fight one of the most common, deadly, and preventable forms of cancer – melanoma.

As the Save Your Skin Foundation’s largest fundraising initiative, Hot Lucy – Stage 4 – Blues Night, is a key event in securing the essential resources needed to support ongoing awareness, education and research initiatives. Occurring on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at the Lynn Valley Legion, the event will feature local Vancouver blues rock band, Hot Lucy, as well as a silent auction, 50/50 draw and a toonie toss. Tickets cost $25.00 (ages +19), with all proceeds going towards the Save Your Skin Foundation. The month of May serves as the perfect time to host the annual event as it’s Melanoma Awareness Month – a month dedicated to the awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

“Last year’s fundraiser was a resounding success and this year’s is expected to exceed fundraising goals,” says Kathleen Barnard, President and Founder of the Save Your Skin Foundation. “As one of our biggest events, it’s great to see everyone coming together for a night of dancing, fun, and music, all while supporting a great cause”. With auction items from some big names that support skin safety, such as Earls Restaurants, Harbour Air, UV Couture, Organic Tan Vancouver (natural airbrush mobile spray tanning), Gillian Stevens Photography, and Zazou Salon & Spa, just to name a few – tickets are selling quickly! Get yours today!

About Melanoma in Canada

Every year, thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with melanoma, with the incidence of the disease increasing faster than that of any other cancer. Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) located in the skin. One in 74 men and 1 in 90 women are expected to develop melanoma during their lifetime. Melanoma is clearly visible on the skin, and 90 per cent of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV light, including tanning beds.

About the Save Your Skin Foundation

The Save Your Skin Foundation is a Canadian not-for-profit foundation. Through events and other initiatives, the Foundation focuses on: raising funds for education and awareness, providing emotional and financial support to those dealing with melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, and on supporting the ongoing research and treatment of skin cancer – especially melanoma.

Read official press release here.

Read more

Welcome May! Melanoma Awareness Month

Blooming daffodils and cherry blossoms ring in the month of May, and with that, we also welcome Melanoma Awareness Month – a month dedicated to the awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Unfortunately, the very thing that helps make summer so enjoyable can also cause deadly forms of skin cancer – the sun.
Did you know that thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with melanoma every year, with the disease increasing faster than any other cancer?

Those following key figures make us better understand the importance of raise awareness of this disease.

Primarily caused by overexposure to UV rays, it is also one of very few cancers that can be prevented. (Clickhere to read more).

To help spread the word about prevention and awareness, the Save Your Skin Foundation will be posting daily skin cancer awareness tips and more on our social media channels, so make sure to follow us on Facebook andTwitter!

We’ll also be holding some great events this month – check them out below, and make sure to get tickets while they last!

Melanoma Patient Information Symposium in Abbotsford

Thursday May 8th

Valley Room, Abbotsford Ramada, 36035 N Parallel Rd

7:30 – 8:30pm

This free patient/caregiver melanoma information symposium offering critical information, plus the rare opportunity to speak with a leading specialist. Light snacks and beverages will be provided.
Get your free tickets here!

Hot Lucy – Stage 4 Blues Night Concert

Saturday May 10, 2014

Lynn Valley Legion

From 8pm to 12am

To generate more awareness and funds to combat one of the fastest growing cancers, Save Your Skin has teamed up with the band Hot Lucy to organize a Blues Rock Night Fundraiser.

Hot Lucy is a high energy rock band with heavy soul and blues influences. Ranked as one of the top Vancouver rock bands by Reverbnation, they have been building loyal fans with every performance and are strong advocates for fighting against melanoma.

Purchase your tickets:  here

Read more

“BONJOUR” from the new SYSF French team in Montreal!

Save Your Skin is thrilled to introduce its new Quebec team to you! The Quebec office will be responsible for assisting skin cancer patients in the region, developing the network of partners and taking the lead on the local actions. Learn more about the new French team with this  interview of Felix-Antoine Léveillé, head of the Save Your Skin’s office in Quebec.

– Who are you and what is your main mission for Save Your Skin in Quebec?
My name is Félix-Antoine Léveillé and I’m the new regional manager of the Save Your Skin Foundation in Québec; Sauve ta peau. I’m also an anthropologist and in the process of finishing my studies in political sciences. My main mission is to support people affected by skin cancer (patients, survivors, natural caregivers and health professionals), to coordinate communication (public relations, medias relations, multimedia platforms in Québec) and to facilitate fundraising and advocacy campaigns.
– Can you speak briefly about important projects (related to cancer) that you have lead before? 
My mission has always been to implement cancer prevention programs in Quebec by working closely with the Coalition Priorité Cancer au Québec on different projects. I also participate in fundraising activities and projects with La société de recherche sur le cancer du Québec and Le Réseau entre-aidants.
– How will your involvement with the Save Your Skin Foundation help our move into the Quebec region? 
I have great experience in strategic development, philanthropy and advocacy. Furthermore, as an anthropologist, I have the aptitude to relate to and reach our community on a resonating level. The fact that I work with an excellent and experienced team is also very beneficial to the introduction of Save Your Skin in Quebec.
– What are your main objectives for 2014?  
My main objective is to coordinate the implementation of the Save Your Skin Foundation in Québec while coordinating the social advocacy efforts of the Foundation.

– What are the upcoming events for Save Your Skin in Quebec? 
Next on the docket is the organization of critical symposiums! We’ve got two coming up this summer in Montreal and Quebec (plus many more across Canada)! If you want to know more about the symposiums in Quebec – email me at Think-tanks are also coming soon.

Read more

Thanks To Everyone Who Joined Us For Our Safe Rays Snow Days Event!

On Feb 22nd, a team of Save Your Skin Volunteers headed up to the lodge at Cypress Mountain to help spread the word about the importance of protecting your skin during the winter months. With record snowfall that day, the lodge was packed! We spent our time handing out information, Save Your Skin tattoos and the crowd favourite, Save Your Skin stickers! With kids’ camps in full swing, we had tons of children stopping by and putting stickers on their helmets – we think this is a great place for a reminder to wear sunscreen year-round (for both parents and kids).

We’d like to thank Cypress Mountain for their hospitality – and we’d also like to send a big shout out to Earls Restaurants for helping us sweeten the deal with a $50 gift certificate! Entrants to the Earls GC contest were asked to apply sunscreen to exposed skin, and while the UV index was moderately low that day (as stated by ourfavourite free UV app) the response was overwhelming. One applicant (a kids camp ski instructor) stated to his devoted pupils while he slathered on sunscreen, that he ‘wears sunscreen all day every day no matter what the weather – even if it’s a snowstorm out’! Going on to say that it’s a habit made easier by the plethora of great beauty products and lotions that have SPF 15 or more. Now that’s a habit Save Your Skin can get behind!…and based on the adoring stares of the children in his camp, this was a message that stuck like the snow to the trees outside and the stickers to their helmets!

Our biggest thank you however, goes out to the people and families that stopped by and shared their stories. With over 6,000 Canadians diagnosed with melanoma a year, the chances are high that you, or someone you know has been touched deeply by the disease.

Help us spread the message that if caught early, skin cancer is one of the more curable forms of cancer – but the best treatment for the disease is prevention. Winter enthusiasts, children, parents – no one is immune to harmful effects of the sun – learn more here.

Make sure you visit our Facebook page for pictures of the event and to see what people said about the event on twitter (@saveyourskinfdn), search our official #saferayssnowdays hashtag!

Read more

Government of Canada announces stronger labelling requirements for tanning beds – Warning labels remind users about skin cancer risk

Article Source: Government of Canada

February 26, 2014 For immediate release

Ottawa – Today, the federal government finalized new regulations mandating stronger health warning label requirements for tanning beds and equipment.

Health Canada has strengthened the labelling requirements for tanning beds to better inform consumers about the health risks associated with the use of these devices.

Once the regulations come into force on May 7, 2014, all tanning equipment sold, leased or imported into Canada must display a warning label with the following message: “Not recommended for use by those under 18 years of age.” The label also features a black bar warning stating: “Tanning equipment can cause cancer” and a bulleted list of other health risks associated with tanning including risk factors such as skin type, photosensitivity and history of skin cancer.

While Health Canada regulates the sale, lease and import of tanning beds under the Radiation Emitting Devices Act, regulation of tanning bed use in commercial establishments, including age restrictions, is being undertaken by provinces and territories. Most provinces/territories in the country currently either regulate, or have expressed an intention to regulate, access to tanning equipment by minors.

Quick Facts

  • According to the World Health Organization, the risk of developing skin melanoma increases by 75% when use of tanning beds starts before the age of 35.
  • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada, and melanoma is its deadliest form.
  • While mortality rates have remained stable, killing one in five diagnosed, incidence of melanoma has increased threefold between 1972 and 2006.
  • In 2013, approximately 6,000 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and 1050 died from it.
  • Exposure to ultraviolet A and B radiation from tanning can cause sunburn, damage to your eyes, and other health effects, including an increased risk of skin cancer.
  • In 2011, James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake in Manitoba, tabled a Private Members Bill in the House of Commons to raise awareness about the harms associated with artificial tanning.

Read more 

Read more

Sun Awareness Week

Since 1989, the Canadian Dermatology Association’s annual, nationwide Sun Awareness Week has helped educate Canadians about dangers of excessive sun exposure — and reduce the incidence of skin cancer in the country. The Save Your Skin Foundation is happy to support this initiative to build important awareness around skin health.

Sun Awareness Week will take place Monday, June 2 to Sunday, June 8, 2014 and Island Health, the Canadian Cancer Society and Save Your Skin Foundation are joining forces this summer to help prevent skin cancer. The Sun Smart campaign is intended to educate Vancouver Island residents about sun safety and the importance of skin protection while enjoying outdoor activities.

Sun Awareness Week from June 2nd to 8th marks the debut of the campaign. The three organizations will share displays at community events from June through August to provide sun safety information and interactive games that shed light on some of the most common myths about tanning and sun safety. Find out more here: Sun Awareness Week: New partnership to promote sun safety this summer

The CDA will also be holding a number of other events and activities, including:

  • Free skin screenings across Canada
  • School visits by dermatologists, and other activities for children
  • A video competition for teens
Read more