A nation-wide shortage of certain cancer treatment drugs is being felt in Waterloo Region.

Grand River Hospital is currently dealing with a lack of IV Leucovorin, etoposide and vinorelbine.

"We don’t know when this shortage will be resolved however, our patients remain our top priority and we will take all necessary measures to ensure that patients continue to receive the highest quality care," a spokesperson for the hospital says in an email.

Those drugs could affect the following patients in order from first to last:

  • Those with bowel, colon, rectal, gastric, esophageal and pancreatic cancers;
  • Those with small cell, testicular, ovarian cancers and those with hematologic cancers such as leukemias and lymphomas;
  • Those with lung cancers and breast cancers

The hospital says it is working with local health integration networks to set up product sharing between it and other hospitals.

It's also trying to preserve the drugs it has on-hand for patients that don't have any acceptable alternatives.

"Cancer Care Ontario is providing support and clinical guidance to identify alternative treatments that are effective and tolerable based on available information from clinical trials," the spokesperson says.

A survey done late last year indicated that most Canadians are concerned about drug shortages.