Hopeless cases no more Immunotherapy drug for advanced stages of lung cancer and melanoma now in the Philippines

The spark of hope has never been brighter for Filipino patients with advanced stages of lung cancer and melanoma. MSD in the Philippines, a leader in oncology research and development just introduced immunotherapy, one of the most innovative cancer treatment methods to date.

One type of immunotherapy called immune checkpoint inhibitors is a form of cancer treatment that prevents the interaction between the immune system’s T-cells and the tumors. When tumors and T-cells interact, a protein found in the tumor called the Programmed Death-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) deactivates T-cells so they become incapable of recognizing and destroying cancer cells. Through immunotherapy, this interaction is blocked so that T-cells can detect and ward off the cancer cells.

In the Philippines, the anti PD-L1 immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of advanced or metastatic lung cancer and melanoma after failing first-line treatment. In a media roundtable symposium held March 17 in Manila, Dr Gerardo Cornelio, Cancer Institute Head of St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City shared that “Pembrolizumab has the potential to become an integral part of cancer treatment. It has and will be tested across a broad spectrum of cancers.”

Burden of Disease
Cancer is one of the most challenging diseases and annual cases are expected to rise to 22 million within the next two decades. In 2012 alone, there were 14 million new cases reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) with 8.2 million cancer-related deaths. A significant contributor to this statistic is lung cancer, which is the top cause of cancer mortality for both sexes worldwide.
Sadly, incidence from the Philippines is not far off from the global data. According to Globocan 2012, Iung cancer is the second most common cancer in incidence and mortality among Filipino men and women.
As for melanoma, a skin cancer whose risk factors include sun exposure, fair complexion and genetics, around 300 Filipinos are affected annually. Though melanoma is not one of the most common cancers in the country, early diagnosis remains a challenge for most patients.

The good news is that for many cancers there have been significant breakthroughs – from prevention to treatment options – however, the unmet needs remain high.

Durable responses, lower toxicities
Clinical trials have shown immunotherapy’s efficacy in the treatment of advanced lung cancer and melanoma. According to a study published in LANCET, Pembrolizumab showed superior overall survival with less high-grade toxicity for previously treated, PD-L1-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Results of the trials showed that the most common side effects for lung cancer patients receiving Pembrolizumab were decreased appetite, fatigue, nausea, and rash.

Clinical trials also showed that Pembrolizumab has superior anticancer activity in patients with advanced melanoma who failed previous therapies. In terms of safety profile, Pembrolizumab showed a lower incidence of treatment-related adverse events compared to chemotherapy. .

Biomarkers play a key role in patient response

The expression of a certain biomarker in patients’ tumors played an important role in their response to Pembrolizumab. Biomarkers are proteins found in a patient’s tissue, blood or fluids that can help determine the outcome of a patient’s disease or response to medication. Clinical trials have shown that if a patients’ tumors express the biomarker Programmed Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1), patients are more likely to have a better response to the drug.

Hope within reach
“Addressing the rising incidence of cancer is indeed a tough road to embark on. MSD has been dedicating its resources to developing innovative oncology medicines. Pembrolizumab propelled our research efforts to understand of the role of the immune system and the PD-L1 pathway in cancer treatment” said Dr. Beaver Tamesis, President and Managing Director of MSD in the Philippines.
With this immunotherapy finally available in the Philippines, cancer patients need not equate being diagnosed with advanced or metastatic lung cancer or melanomas a death sentence. Thanks to this breakthrough in cancer medication, patients in the Philippines and abroad have a ray of hope and confidence in what used to be a hopeless case.

Sosro Fruit Tea for a refreshingly new taste to enjoy this summer

When the going gets tough, the tough get chilling! Today’s go-getters are a multi-faceted and diverse group of people who juggle deadlines with dates, and handle bosses and buddies. These are the young people who redefine coolness by showing others that being cool is not a one-size-fits-all sort of personality—it’s a state of being that anybody can achieve.But how can we stay cool and chill despite the hustle and bustle of our daily lives? What with summer looming around the corner, the sun’s heat can make it extra challenging to keep cool. But what if we told you that keeping cool was as simple as opening a bottle and letting yourself#TasteTheChill? Sosro Fruit Tea, the millennial go-getter’s preferred real tea drink, has officially launched in the Philippines just in time for one of the most-anticipated seasons of the year—summer

Originally from Indonesia, Sosro Fruit Tea was brought to the Philippines by Reddimart Multi-resources, Inc. in 2015. Known for their refreshing blends of real fruit flavor and authentic tea goodness, Sosro Fruit Tea has quickly become synonymous to a chillaxing time for many tea-drinkers. Available in Freeze, Apple, Strawberry, and Guava, Sosro fruit tea is perfect for anybody at anytime that is looking for a quick way to re-energize and chillout on-the-go.#TasteTheChill with Freeze While having established itself as the chill fruit tea drink last year, Sosro Fruit Tea begins 2016 with its #TasteTheChill campaign which encourages drinkers to stay chill both figuratively and literally using their hero-product Sosro Fruit Tea Freeze.Sosro Fruit Tea Freeze represents the cool and collected millennial who knows how to effortlesslymix work and play. With its one-of-a-kind blend of Strawberry and Grape plus its unique icysensation, Freeze is the perfect drink for staying cool.The #TasteTheChill urges Sosro Fruit Tea patrons—affectionately termed “chillmates”—to have a bottle of Freeze and let its enjoyable and refreshing icy taste invigorate them.

Just in time for the summer season, Reddimart held the Sosro Fruit Tea’s official launch at The Palace Pool Club with the theme ‘Warm Summer Nights.’

Meant to emulate the balmy evenings of summer, the launch was a multi-sensory experience thatfeatured music, décor, and laser lights to really stimulate the senses—just like Sosro Fruit Tea.Throughout the night, the venue radically transformed for “Chill 20”s wherein The Palace Pool Club will become a cool and icy haven with snow, cool hangouts, and blue lights. Aside from introducing Sosro Fruit Tea Freeze to public, another highlight of the night was the announcement of Sosro Fruit Tea’s newest celebrity brand ambassador, Sofia Andres.Just like Freeze, Sofia is the perfect chillmate with her cool and fun-loving attitude. In fact, Sofia will be featured on billboards that showcase her in her Ice Goddess garb encouraging chillmates to#TasteTheChill themselves. As the sunny weather approaches, arm yourself with a Sosro Fruit Tea Freeze to #TasteTheChilland stay refreshed so that your summer season will be one cool adventure!

Created in 1997 by Indonesia’s Sinar Sosro—pioneers of the world’s first bottled ready-to-drink tea—Sosro Fruit Tea finally reaches the Philippine shores via Reddimart Multi-Resources Inc. Thenumber 1 manufacturer of tea drink in Indonesia, Sosro Fruit Tea’s invigorating flavors are nowchilling at SM Hypermarkets, Landmark, Sta. Lucia Grocery, Tropical Hut, Hi-Top Supermarket,Walter Mart, Pioneer Center, and other leading supermarkets. Know more about Sosro and otherexciting treats from Reddimart by visiting http://reddimart.ph/.

Century Tuna Superbods gets bigger, better, and sexier as it celebrates 10 years of fitness and health

Bigger. Better. Sexier. Temperatures rise across our pulsating tropical isles in what is envisioned to be the hottest Superbods search yet: the Century Tuna Superbods Nation 2016. Making a bolder statement and an even bigger splash on its 10th year of sexy, watch out as Century Tuna Superbods take the country by storm—TEN-fold!

With a lineup of enticing activities leading up to the finals night to be held on April 10, 2016 at the ultra exclusive Palace Pool Club, Century Tuna Superbods Nation 2016 promises to be the most anticipated happening this summer season—a health and fitness revolution to rock the nation!

“As we mark a glorious decade of promoting health and fitness through our bi-annual Superbods search, which has since become a much anticipated event, we felt that it’s only proper that we raise the bar to even greater heights,” says Greg Banzon, general manager of Century Pacific Food, Inc. “Not only have we widened the scope and reach of our search, we will also be mounting a series of exciting events that form part of an over-all campaign for a change to a healthier lifestyle and reform in fitness across the country.”

Of course, headlining Century Tuna Superbods Nation 2016 are the ultimate Superbods Anne Curtis and Derek Ramsay who will all take the stage in the sizzling finals night runway show that is bound to deliver an exhilarating evening of fun, fitness, and fitspiration.
Century Tuna Superbods gets bigger, better, and sexier…

To take part of this much-awaited competition, simply download the Century Tuna Superbods Nation mobile app, an easy-to-use tool that’s designed to help users get fit and healthy while keeping abreast of the latest news on the Superbods competition. Once registered and approved, users get to see all the features of the app, get updated on summer events and activities, join the engagements presented by Century Tuna and submit an entry to the 2016 Superbods competition. This unique app lets users vote, follow, and share the journey of the Superbods finalists for the whole duration of the Superbods competition. Plus, users also get the chance to win invites to the finals and party night, and grab exciting prizes as well.

Schedule of go-sees for aspiring Superbods will be held on February 9, 15, 20 and 28 at Davao City, Cebu City, Pampanga and Manila, respectively.

To help the Superbods finalists stay on track and in tip top shape, mentors and coaches, including Jim Saret and Chef Nadine Tengco, will be on hand to facilitate a Superbods Camp aimed at improving the over-all lifestyle and well being of the Superbods finalists. A Superbods Weekend Fitness Fair, meanwhile, allows for consumer engagement, participation, and empowerment towards the achievement of their personal fitness goals.

“Since its inception in 2006, it has always been the vision of Century Tuna Superbods to encourage our consumers to get healthy by living right,” Gela Gamboa, Century Tuna marketing manager relates. “Which is why, this year, we’re enjoining everyone to get involved: aside from joining the search, consumers can download the app to get into the Superbods lifestyle. And then there’s the Superbods Weekend Fitness Fair at Bonifacio High Street where lots of fun activities, which they can enjoy together with celebrities and Superbods finalists, await them.”

With all these exciting elements, there’s no doubt, Century Tuna Superbods Nation 2016 will make this coming summer a blazing season to remember.

FWD Life encourages Filipinos to stay healthy and fit one move at a time

Can you really be healthy and fit by investing just four minutes of your day in exercise?

Apparently, it is possible and FWD Life is showing Filipinos how they can be healthier and fitter pursue their passions and live the life they dream of.

To encourage more Filipinos to start living a healthy lifestyle, FWD Life recently launched a health and wellness movement aptly called Live to Move—premised on the idea that attaining better health is key in living life to the fullest.

At the heart of the campaign is the FWD Motion, a specially designed four-minute metabolic fitness (MetaFit) workout which has a health benefit equivalent of up to one-hour exercise. Its four primary steps – jump, squat, push up, and lunge – will encourage Filipinos to get into their exercise gear and start moving. Short, simple, and effective, the four primary steps easily encourage people to work out regardless if they are novice, intermediate or advanced fitness enthusiasts.

FWD Motion is a simple regimen. Its four primary steps can be integrated into daily activities and can be done anywhere, reducing the need to go to the gym or attend a workout class. Having been developed by celebrity fitness coaches Jim and Toni Saret (“The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition Season 2,” “Fit Filipino Movement”), who are also the campaign collaborators, it is scientifically-proven to make an individual lose as much as 600 calories, depending on the intensity of execution and number of repetitions.

“FWD encourages Filipinos to be healthier through the Live To Move movement and it matches perfectly with our advocacy. Through Live To Move and the FWD Motion, we are able to motivate people to start moving in as short as four minutes only, so they can live better and healthier lives,” said Coach Jim Saret.

Coaches Jim and Toni Saret are also healthy lifestyle ambassadors of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), the official advocacy partner of Live To Move. FWD Life supports PHA’s 52100 advocacy, a simple guide to remind people of the essentials of good health, with each number representing a daily target: five (5) servings of fruits and vegetables, two (2) hours maximum recreational screen time, one (1) hour of moderate activity, zero (0) sugared drinks, and zero (0) smoking/secondhand smoke.
“This partnership enables PHA to further promote public awareness on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We are also grateful that through Live To Move, FWD is able to support our 52100 advocacy which encourages Filipinos to adopt simple heart-friendly daily habits,” said Dr. Alex Junia, Philippine Heart Association President.

The campaign started with the FWD Motion online video challenge wherein participants post their workout videos featuring their passions and their variations to the four primary steps. It continues with the Live To Move Tour, a series of health and wellness-themed pocket events around Metro Manila which includes group activities called Move to the Beat (Hip Hop), Move to the Groove (Zumba), Move to Fight (boxing and cardio), and Move to the FWD Motion (MetaFit). It will culminate on October 24 with the Live To Move Grand Festival where participants will enjoy exciting activities and rewards in surrounding booths for free medical consultation, cooking sessions, group workouts, and a free-for-all wellness concert.

Campaign participants are entitled to raffle entries which give them the chance to win exciting lifestyle gadgets during the tour and the grand festival.

“We have established Live To Move as a platform and the FWD Motion as a key workout routine to encourage Filipinos to start living a healthy lifestyle so they can pursue their passions. We are committed to lead the cause for Filipinos’ health and wellness in the life insurance industry, since we strongly believe in the benefits of living a healthy and more active life,” said FWD Life President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes.

For more information about Live To Move campaign, visit FWD Life Philippines on Facebook. You can also visit its microsite, www.livetomove.ph to upload your FWD Motion videos until October 23. You can also catch upcoming Live To Move tour stops in Bonifacio Global City on October 10 and Alabang Town Center on October 17.

About FWD Life Insurance Corporation Philippines

Arriving in the Philippines in early 2014, FWD is the insurance arm of Pacific Century Group, an investment group established in 1993 with interests in financial services, telecommunications, real estate, and other investments in Asia. FWD is the first in nearly a decade to be granted a life insurance license by the Insurance Commission of the Philippines. FWD launched its commercial operations in September 2014.

FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, offering life and medical insurance, employee benefits, and general insurance across a number of its markets.

FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, supported by leading digital technologies. Through this customer-led approach, FWD will achieve its vision to become the leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.

For more information, please visit WWW.FWD.COM.PH.

Blue Water Day Spa Therapeutic Colonic Massage: Detox for Faster Weight Loss

As we become more and more exposed to toxins – from the unhealthy food that we eat to the pollution we encounter on our daily commute across the metro, our body becomes heavy because of the buildup of waste, leading to a loss of energy and an uncomfortable disposition.

Detox and regain your energy through Blue Water Day Spa’s Therapeutic Colonic Massage, the newest and most effective detox management treatment used by celebrities like Christian Bautista, Miss Universe 2013 Third Runner-Up Ariella Arida, Ken Alfonso and Wynwyn Marquez.

Combining medical science with Blue Water Day Spa hospitality and relaxation, the Therapeutic Colonic Massage helps gently remove excess toxins from your body, starting with those that have accumulated in your digestive system.

The treatment concentrates on the core (abdominal area), loosening the hardened blockages in your system through massage. The body then naturally expels these wastes through normal body function.

Enjoy the full-hour treatment, made more relaxing with the use of chamomile oil, in the calming ambience of the Blue Water Day Spa suites. Though the massage on the abdomen itself takes approximately 20 mins, you will enjoy lasting results.

In as little as one session, find relief from common digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, gas, and abdominal pains and cramps. The gentle boost on your digestive tract realigns organs and also helps your body cope better with hard-to-digest food. Regular, weekly treatments offer long-term benefits that include improved sleep, more defined abdominal muscle tone, and restored energy.

As you detox, the treatment also primes the body to respond better to diet and exercise, helping you lose weight faster and safely. Say goodbye to stubborn love handles, as you welcome a shapelier and more defined figure.

Christian Bautista, popular singer/actor, an avid fan of the Therapeutic Colonic treatment, shares, “As a performer, my schedules are hectic and always changing, so I have to be in the best shape possible to meet all the demands of my work. The long nights and late meals do take a toll on my body. With the BlueWater Day Spa Therapeutic Colonic Massage, I feel better and have more energy. It’s a gentle detox that serves a dual purpose, because it helps you lose weight, too!

Ariela Arida, Miss Universe Third Runner Up 2013, visits Bluewater Day Spa whenever she has the time. She pampers herself with a relaxing and beautifying Collagen Facial Treatment from Bluewater Day Spa to keep her skin looking youthful with that special glow.

Actress Winwyn Marquez keeps herself physically fit with various exercise regimens. But when it comes to looking her best, she visits Bluewater Day Spa for her Photo Therapy Flash (IPL) Treatment. Using a highly advanced yet safe laser technology, this removes unwanted hair permanently.

Actor/Singer/Host Ken Alfonso indulges in Bluewater Day Spa’s Revitafirm and Revitashape Treatments. Using the technology of heat through the RF machine, this treatment tones your face and body and melts away excess cellulites. It helps Ken achieve those perfect abs.

Jumpstart your journey to a healthier, sexier, and more energetic you with Blue Water Day Spa Therapeutic Colonic Massage.
BlueWater Day Spa has branches in Ortigas-Greenhills (Tel No 7278420), Makati (Tel No 8173126), Capitol Hills (Tel No 4730455), Eastwood City (Tel No 9151247), Tomas Morato (Tel No 4865455) , Cotabato City (Tel No 09228399751) and Naga City (09177391822). For franchising information please call 6951820 or 6691634. www.bluewaterdayspa.ph

Managing Type-2 Diabetes

I attended an orientation about how to manage Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus where I got an insight in preventing to have one.

Read more on PR write up about this event:

More doctors are recommending the early treatment and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in order to avoid the risk of potentially life-threatening complications.

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This renewed emphasis on early intervention comes alongside a deeper understanding of the need for comprehensive solutions for T2DM patients, comprising lifestyle modifications as well as pharmacological treatment. Doctors agree that the combination of lifestyle changes and drug therapy is key to preventing the development of further health risks, such as heart and renal disease.  

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“The risk of developing further complications such as kidney and cardiovascular disease increases when type 2 diabetes is not properly managed from the onset,” says Dr. Bobby Mirasol, Former President of Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (PSEDM) & ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies (AFES). “We’ve come to realize that the ill effects of diabetes on patients can be minimized with aggressive treatment early on. Because type 2 diabetes can lead to heart attack and strokes, timely, comprehensive, and consistent intervention is hugely important.”

Novel treatment available

For patients with type 2 diabetes, doctors have long recommended glycemic control through pharmacotherapy, alongside the adoption of specific lifestyle-related treatment goals, such as maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding fatty non-nutrient-dense food, and replacing refined carbohydrates with fiber-rich whole grains.

The oral medication, Dapagliflozin, by AstraZeneca, is a selective and reversible inhibitor of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) that works independently of insulin to help flush out excess sugar out of the body through urine removing accompanying calories, thus reducing blood sugar levels while supporting the important goals of weight loss and blood pressure reduction.

The unique mode of action the drug offers is the first of its kind and not seen among current available treatments for type 2 diabetes in the Philippines. This is the first medicine in the new SGLT2 class to gain regulatory approval in the world, granted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Dapagliflozin has been subsequently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is also approved in 40 countries including Australia.

The novel drug is to be used as a supplement to diet and exercise to improve blood glucose control alone, or in combinations with other oral glucose-lowering medicinal products, such as metformin as well as insulin.

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“The results we’ve seen so far with the early use of dapagliflozin among patients have been very promising,” says Dr. Rima Tan, President of Diabetes Philippines. “Our patients so far have exhibited healthier blood sugar levels. And because weight loss and healthy blood pressure are integral parts of any successful treatment regimen, having a drug that also supports these other objectives is a great advantage.” Experts acknowledge that these additional benefits are especially important in populations prone to diabesity, the concurrence of obesity and diabetes, which Filipinos are prone to. 20,000 lives changed and counting Since its approval in 2014, dapagliflozin has been used to effectively treat more than 20,000 patients in the Philippines alone, with doctors citing it as an effective component of early type 2 diabetes treatment. “It is the benefits being experienced by these patients that matters the most,” says Dr. Emmanuel Arca, Associate Medical and Regulatory Affairs Director of AstraZeneca Philippines. “We’ve been hearing a lot of good news about how dapagliflozin has contributed to the holistic treatment of type 2 diabetes by combining blood sugar lowering with the additional benefit of weight and blood pressure reduction.”

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Doctors credit the success of dapagliflozin to its unique mechanism of action, as it addresses both pharmacological and lifestyle-related components of treatment.

“Having such a drug available goes a long way towards preventing the various complications associated with the disease, especially since being overweight increases those risks,” says Dr. Arca. “While dapagliflozin is relatively new, initial results have renewed our hopes of helping type 2 diabetes patients’ live full and happy lives.”

For more information, visit www.astrazeneca.com

CONTACTS

For further information, please contact:

Dr Lyra Agustin, Medical Adviser, Diabetes, AstraZeneca Philippines
Tel: +63 2 777 8879
Mob: +63 999 886 9040
Email: lyra.agustin@astrazeneca.com

Dr Emmanuel Arca, Associate Medical & Regulatory Affairs Director,
AstraZeneca Philippines
Tel: +63 2 777 8816
Mob: +63 999 8869038
Email: emmanuel.arca@astrazeneca.com