Thailand ranks 4th highest in liver cancer deaths

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Innovative medicine to treat advanced liver cell cancer

Col. Asst. Prof. Naiyarat Prasongsook, M.D., Medical Oncologist from Phramongkutklao Hospital & Chairman of PMK Cancer Center and Clinical Research Center describes the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma as stated “The treatment for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma includes: 1) Targeted therapy, which acts to stop cancer cells from dividing. This treatment has a survival rate of about 10-13 months. 2) Immunotherapy combined with antiangiogenic drugs given as an injection with a survival rate of 19.2 months in patients worldwide and 24 months in China. Whereby, this treatment is currently not listed in the benefits package for liver cancer patients”.

Weerayut Yodkam

Enhancing the benefits of hepatocellular carcinoma patients

Weerayut Yodkam, Liver Patient revealed “I have been sick with liver cancer since 2019. The doctor recommended treatment by taking antiviral drugs and then using targeted therapy. This is because I have the hepatitis C virus and the cancer is at a metastatic stage. I have been taking the pills for about 2-3 months and have had many side effects. My hands and feet are cracked, and the wounds get worse when I touch anything. This made daily life quite difficult, so I requested to change to another medicine. Thus I have been using immunotherapy together with antiangiogenic drugs and my symptoms have improved and my weight increased with no undesired side effects. From the beginning, I thought I might not survive. Now I see a doctor every 3 weeks to receive medicine, however, I am responsible for the costs myself because the medicine is not within the 30-baht universal healthcare scheme”

Dr. Jakkrit Ngowsiri

Dr Jakkrit Ngowsiri, Deputy Secretary-General of NHSO stated “Cancer medicine is a basic right that all humans should receive. Thus, the role and duty of NHSO is to help every Thai person receive equal rights.”

“Under the resolution of the National Health Security Committee, for new treatments to replace old treatments, the new treatment must be priced equal to or lower than the original treatment. Furthermore, the replacement should undergo without having to wait for the new treatment to be added to the national list of essential medicines first Because it may take 2-3 years” Dr Jakkrit concluded.

Prof. Dr.Pisit Tangkijvanich

Prof. Dr Pisit Tangkijvanich, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist from King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital & Head of the Center of Excellence in Hepatitis and Liver Cancer at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University suggested  “Even though every patient has the right to be treated, it is still not realistic to do so. Therefore, if we consider selecting suitable people to receive treatment in advanced stages first such as people who have better results, or have the chance of living longer, to have universal access to the treatment. In addition, a study of data on the use of immunotherapy in Thailand found that the efficacy data for Thai people is not different from data from studies around the world.”

This event is supported by Roche Thailand, one of Thailand’s leading healthcare companies that continuously invests in research and development.


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