Audrey Andrews



Authored Items

Upper GI Cancers: Are We Getting Value for the Money?

August 2011, Vol 2, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

 

Upper GI Malignancies” was a plenary session at ASCO 2011, with 2 experts discussing whether results of recent clinical trials of targeted agents are clinically meaningful or just statistically positive, and what is the value of the enormous amount of money spent in treating noncolorectal gastrointestinal (GI) cancer.

Clinical versus Statistical Significance

 

Eileen Mary O’Reilly, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, examined some of the major trials.

[ Read More ]

Novel HDAC Inhibitor Improves Outcomes in Patients with Estrogen-Sensitive Breast Cancer

October 2011, Vol 2, No 6 - Uncategorized

San Francisco, CA—A novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, when added to the aromatase inhibitor exemestane (Aromasin), appears to restore sensitivity to the endocrine agent by significantly delaying recurrences and creating an increased survival trend.

The findings come from the Entinostat Combinations Overcoming Resistance (ENCORE 301) study presented at the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium by Denise Yardley, MD, Sarah Cannon Research Institute and Tennessee Oncology, Nashville.

[ Read More ]

Breast Cancer Treatment Still Under Par for Patients Covered by Medicaid

October 2011, Vol 2, No 6 - Breast Cancer Symposium

San Francisco, CA—Several studies presented at the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium shed light on the quality of breast cancer care received by women who are uninsured or receiving Medicaid.

In a study conducted at Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, researchers investigated the quality of breast cancer treatment in patients enrolled under Medicaid and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act (BCCPTA) of 2000 in Georgia.

[ Read More ]

Predictive Biomarker for Bevacizumab May Be Emerging

December 2011, Vol 2, No 7 - ESMO 2011 Conference

Stockholm, Sweden—Investigators appear to be closer to identifying a biomarker that may predict response to bevacizumab (Avastin).

At the European Society for Medical Oncology’s 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress, several presentations focused on baseline levels of a short isoform of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), plasma (p) VEGF-A. Thanks to a novel, highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, this can now be measured.

[ Read More ]

Optimal Care for Patients with Cancer: Who Decides?

May 2012, Vol 3, No 3 - NCCN Conference

Hollywood, FL—Cancer care today is influenced by an ever-broadening array of players, and what was once an intimate relationship between patient and physician now involves multiple decision makers. At the 2012 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) meeting, a panel of various stakeholder groups addressed the questions of what and who defines “optimal care” for today’s patient. [ Read More ]

NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines Update

May 2012, Vol 3, No 3 - NCCN Conference

The 2012 updates to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ have elevated several drugs to category 1 recommendation and have changed the algorithm for work-up in some tumors. A synopsis of the key updates presented at the 2012 annual conference is reported here.

Breast Cancer

The breast cancer panel recommended a more conservative use of imaging modalities for assessing, staging, and conservative management of the axillae in selected patients.

[ Read More ]

Updated NCCN Practice Guidelines in Oncology Include 3 New Panels

May 2012, Vol 3, No 3 - NCCN Conference

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) introduced 3 new panels to its Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ at its 2012 annual conference. The key components of these new guidelines are described below.

New Panel on Lung Cancer Screening

The new Lung Cancer Screening Panel recommended that persons at risk for lung cancer be screened regularly (in some cases, annually) with helical low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in an effort to detect cancer at its earliest stage.

[ Read More ]

BRAF and MEK Inhibitors Make News at ASCO

June 2012, Vol 3, No 4 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—At the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, attendees flocked to sessions on the treatment of melanoma to hear about the next generation of agents that are building on the success achieved with the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib (Zelboraf), and the immunotherapy drug ipilimumab (Yervoy), which have added new treatment options where, not long ago, none existed.

[ Read More ]

Patients Willing to Pay Out of Pocket for Genetic Testing to Assess Colorectal Cancer Risk

July 2012, Vol 3, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—In a cohort of patients at risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), the majority were willing to pay some out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses for genetic testing, Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers reported in a poster that was presented at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting and earned an ASCO Merit Award.

“These participants are fearful of a positive result and anticipate benefits afforded by genetic testing in controlling cancer risk,” said Jennifer M. Matro, MD, a medical oncology fellow at Fox Chase in Philadelphia.

[ Read More ]

Is Pemetrexed/Platinum Therapy Cost-Effective in NSCLC?

July 2012, Vol 3, No 5 - AMCP Annual Meeting

San Francisco, CA—In what appears to be the first study to use real-world, non–clinical trial data to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of pemetrexed/platinum (Pem/P) therapy used first line in patients with advanced non–smallcell lung cancer (NSCLC), this combination trended toward being more effective and less costly than carboplatin/ paclitaxel plus bevacizumab (C/Pa+B), reported Manan Shah, PharmD, PhD, with Xcenda, Palm Harbor, FL, and colleagues at the 2012 Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy annual meeting.

[ Read More ]

Crizotinib Superior to Chemotherapy, Extends Median Survival in First Head-to-Head Trial

October 2012, Vol 3, No 7 - ESMO 2012 Conference

Vienna, Austria—In the first head-to-head phase 3 clinical trial, the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor crizotinib (Xalkori) proved more effective than standard chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) or docetaxel (Taxotere) as a second-line treatment for patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the ALK genetic abnormality.

[ Read More ]

Oncotype DX Score Predicts Residual Disease after Chemotherapy

November 2012, Vol 3, No 8 - Breast Cancer Symposium

?San Francisco, CA—The Oncotype DX Recurrence Score (the 21-gene) test can help identify patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer with any number of positive lymph nodes who will have residual disease after adjuvant chemotherapy, and who may benefit from additional treatment, reported Eleftherios P. Mamounas, MD, Medical Director, Aultman Hospital Cancer Center, Canton, OH, at the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium.

This new retrospective analysis was conducted by investigators from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).

[ Read More ]

No Increase in Leukemia or MDS with Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

November 2012, Vol 3, No 8 - Breast Cancer Symposium

?San Francisco, CA—According to a study from the US Oncology Network, patients with breast cancer who are treated with adjuvant chemotherapy have no increased risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelo­dysplastic syndromes (MDS), at least within the first 3 years of treatment.

“The rates of AML/MDS were found to be low after adjuvant chemotherapy, and similar to those noted in nonchemotherapy-treated pa­tients,” reported Neelima Denduluri, MD, a medical oncologist at Virginia Cancer Specialists, Arlington, during the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium.

[ Read More ]

Ibrutinib: It’s Not Just for Leukemia

January 2013, Vol 4, No 1 - ASH Annual Meeting

Atlanta, GA—The investigational agent ibrutinib, which is making news in the treatment of patients with leukemia, demonstrated “unprecedented” single-agent activity in patients with relapsed or refractory mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL), according to the lead author of an international phase 2 study that was reported at the 2012 American Society of Hematology meeting.

[ Read More ]

Ibrutinib: It’s Not Just for Leukemia

January 2013, Vol 4, No 1 - ASH Annual Meeting

Atlanta, GA—The investigational agent ibrutinib, which is making news in the treatment of patients with leukemia, demonstrated “unprecedented” single-agent activity in patients with relapsed or refractory mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL), according to the lead author of an international phase 2 study that was reported at the 2012 American Society of Hematology meeting.

[ Read More ]

Breast-Conserving Surgery Underutilized

January 2013, Vol 4, No 1 - Breast Cancer

Vienna, Austria—Despite a robust response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which renders many early breast cancer tumors resectable, breast-conserving surgery is often overlooked in favor of mastectomy, according to an analysis of the Neo-ALLTO clinical trial, which was presented at the 2012 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress.

[ Read More ]

Immunotherapies Take Center Stage in Melanoma

June 2013, Vol 4, No 5 - ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—Data continue to build for the application of immunotherapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. At the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), several sessions were devoted to recent advances in melanoma, focusing on new ways to boost the activity of current therapies, introducing a new class of immunotherapy in development, and a new form of immunotherapy—an oncolytic vaccine.

[ Read More ]

Nearly 1 in 5 Patients with Cancer Reports Financial Distress

July 2013, Vol 4, No 6 - Economics of Cancer Care

Chicago, IL—Financial distress is prevalent among insured patients with cancer, and although most patients state a desire to talk to their physicians about costs, this discussion rarely occurs, according to a study conducted at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Of the 300 insured patients with cancer included in this study, 17% reported “high” or “overwhelming” financial distress, and only 25% of this group discussed costs with their physicians.

[ Read More ]

The State of Cancer Globally in 2013

October 2013, Vol 4, No 8 - ESMO 2013 Conference

Amsterdam, The Netherlands—Although much progress has been made in cancer care over the past couple of dec­ades, a report presented at the 2013 European Cancer Congress emphasizes that on a global scale, the impact is far from equitable.
“Many parts of the world are already unable to cope with the current situation and are totally unprepared for the future growth of the cancer problem,” said Peter Boyle, PhD, DSc, President, International Prevention Research Institute, and Director, Strathclyde Institute for Global Public Health, Lyon, France.

[ Read More ]

For Oncologists, Some Food for Thought in the New Era of Healthcare Reform

October 2013, Vol 4, No 8 - Breast Cancer Symposium

San Francisco, CA—At the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium, Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, told oncologists that in the current era of healthcare reform, they will need to think beyond treatment outcomes, toxicities, and personal preferences.

Dr Shulman told oncologists they will need to “factor in” cost considerations and payment reform. “Ideally, our treatment decisions would be the same, but several factors cause us to rethink our approaches to cancer care,” he said.

[ Read More ]

Comparative Effectiveness Research Should Reap Benefits for Oncology Care

October 2013, Vol 4, No 8 - Breast Cancer Symposium

San Francisco, CA—Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is an important construct for identifying and summarizing the evidence on the effectiveness, safety, and overall value of alternative strategies in oncology care, said Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Duke University and the Duke Cancer Research Institute, Durham, NC, during the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium.

“The big challenge is deciding what treatment works in whom, under what circumstances, and whether we can afford it,” Dr Lyman said.

[ Read More ]