A cost analysis presented at ASCO 2011 and performed at the University of Toronto, Odette Cancer Center, Ontario, showed that the emerging combination regimen that includes oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), iri - no tecan (Camptosar), fluorouracil (Adrucil) and leucovorin (FOLFIRINOX) is not cost-effective when considered within the framework of a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). [ Read More ]
Chicago, IL—The potential of 2 novel agents still in clinical trials, and 1 drug that was recently approved, offer new hope to patients with metastatic castrate- resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), a disease with a dire prognosis and few good current treatment options.
One of the investigational agents, alpharadin (radium-223 chloride [R- 223]), may have just earned a chance for an expedited approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of its positive results.[ Read More ]
A series of studies presented at this year’s ASCO annual meeting suggest that the use of unwarranted high-cost imaging procedures, a surge in the use of innovative treatment technologies, and off-label use of supportive cancer agents are helping to escalate Medicare costs, leading researchers to suggest that further regulation may be needed to rein in unnecessary expenses. [ Read More ]
Studies presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) suggest that patients with metastatic mel anoma or with non– small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)—2 disease states with very high rates of mortality—may soon have new treatment options. [ Read More ]
San Diego, CA—The newest data presented from the BELA (Bosutinib Efficacy and Safety in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia) trial show a superior cumulative complete cytogenetic response rate (CCyR) for bosutinib versus the standard-of-care agent, imatinib, when used as frontline treatment for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), with 87% and 81% response rates at 24 months.[ Read More ]
A new cost analysis of the management of the 3 subtypes of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs)—myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, and essential thrombocythemia—shows that associated medical and pharmaceutical expenses for patients with these hematologic disorders in patients with cancer are 2 to 6 times that of matched patients without cancer. Outpatient visits for MPN accounted for more than 50% of the total costs incurred by patients with cancer.[ Read More ]
Preliminary data from the phase 2 PACE (Ponatinib Ph+ALL and CML Evaluation) trial show that ponatinib (Ariad Pharmaceuticals) can overcome the difficult-to-treat T315I mutation in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Currently, patients with this genetic mutation have no effective treatment options.
In PACE, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) ponatinib achieved a 47% major cytogenetic response (MCyR). For patients with the T315I mutation, ponatinib induced a 65% MCyR. This drug was specifically designed to overcome the T315I mutation.[ Read More ]
Few analyses to date have assessed the long-term costs associated with the management of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). At ASH 2011, Shrividya Iyer, PhD, of Pfizer, presented results of a retrospective analysis performed by a group of researchers at Pfizer and the Eliassen Group that looked at information from the Thomson Reuters MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database, and the Medicare Supplemental Database. Medical claims for the years 2002-2009 were used for 2583 patients with CML who had ≥2 claims associated with a CML diagnosis.[ Read More ]
First Randomized Comparison of Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis versus Standard Care for DVT Prophylaxis
In the first comparative trial of its kind, the Catheter-Directed Venous Thrombolysis (CaVenT) study determined that treating a clot directly with the recombinant, antithrombotic agent alteplase reduced the frequency of postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) and improved long-term outcome in patients with proximal deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) compared with standard anticoagulation methods.
PTS can greatly affect a patient’s quality of life: 1 in 4 patients with DVT will experience PTS, despite having been treated according to current clinical guidelines.[ Read More ]
Baltimore, MD—It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It is with this sensibility that Donald P. Howard of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began his presentation at the 2012 Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) meeting, detailing the current state of the hospital value-based purchasing (VBP) program.[ Read More ]
Baltimore, MD—Results from the latest survey of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) membership suggest that although cancer centers have stepped up their efforts to introduce cost-reduction and revenue-enhancing initiatives, the rising tide of underinsured or uninsured patients with cancer is straining even the most optimistic of business plans.
The survey, Cancer Care Trends in Community Cancer Centers, has been conducted annually for the past 3 years. A total of 59 community cancer programs participated in this survey.[ Read More ]
Baltimore, MD—According to Ernest Anderson, Jr, MS, RPh, System Vice President of Pharmacy, Steward Health Care System, Boston, MA, “If you’re not familiar with the drug shortage issue, you must be living under a rock.”[ Read More ]
Baltimore, MD—Changes are constant in cancer care—new technologies, new targets, and new treatments. But the associated spiraling costs are also constant. Not surprisingly, payers are pushing back, with an attempt to change the way business is being done in oncology.[ Read More ]
Baltimore, MD—Belt tightening is the order of the day. To succeed, you are going to need a stern resolve, a sturdy belt, and a steady pull—not just by the bean counters in the back office, but by everyone: administrators, doctors, and mid-level employees alike. At the 2012 Association of Community Cancer Centers meeting, several presenters offered practical tips to help in the new climate of healthcare reform.[ Read More ]
Baltimore, MD—Radiation technologies rank as some of the most interesting new developments. However, the advantages of these new technologies in terms of patient outcomes are sometimes elusive, and the costs of acquiring radiologic facilities—and the revenue generated by them—are increasingly coming into question.[ Read More ]
Single, Older Women Less Likely to Receive Guideline- Recommended Treatment for Breast Cancer in Rural Georgia
New Orleans, LA—Researchers looking at whether guideline-directed adjuvant treatments for breast cancer were actually being administered in rural areas of the United States found that only 41% of the patients in this study received all of the suggested treatment modalities for breast cancer. Being single and advancing in age were negative predictors for receiving guideline-based care.[ Read More ]
Urologists’ Prescribing of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonists for Prostate Cancer Vary by Practice Affiliation
New Orleans, LA—An analysis comparing the prescribing habits of urology practices shows that, despite treatment guideline recommendations to the contrary, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, which are only indicated for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer, are routinely prescribed for patients with localized, low- or intermediate-grade prostate cancer, particularly by urologists who have no practice affiliation with a medical school.[ Read More ]
Patient-Reported Outcomes More Common in EU Labeling than FDA Labeling of Drug Approved for Lung Cancer
New Orleans, LA—A study comparing patient-reported outcomes (PROs) labeling claims in Europe and in the United States showed that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is more proactive in considering patient-generated feedback in their drug labeling decisions—this despite the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s 2009 guidance that emphasized the importance of gathering and disseminating such data.[ Read More ]
Costs to Medicare Nearly Twice as High for Hospital Outpatient versus Community-Based Oncology Services
A new analysis of Medicare claims between 2009 and 2011 has revealed that patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy in hospital outpatient settings are billed at rates that are 25% to 47% higher than for equivalent oncology services rendered at community-based physicians’ offices.[ Read More ]
Survival is not cheap. In fact, according to the results of a new study, cancer survivors have ongoing annual medical expenditures averaging $17,000 per patient in the first year after diagnosis, or $6400 per patient at least 1 year postdiagnosis (Guy GP Jr, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2013;31:3749-3757). Considered in aggregate, this comes to a nationwide expense of approximately $41 billion for patients younger than age 64 years—and for older patients, the figures are even higher.[ Read More ]
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has proposed a radical new model for the reimbursement of oncology services under Medicare, with the new paradigm consisting of incentives for oncologists to emphasize quality rather than quantity of care as the greater good to the bottom line.[ Read More ]
Patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and high out-of-pocket (OOP) costs for treating their disease have a 70% chance of discontinuing treatment and a 42% chance of nonadherence to treatment compared with patients with lesser copays. These conclusions, which were recently published online (Dusetzina SB, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2014;32:306-311), have dire implications for a growing population of patients with CML.
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The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is recommending that individuals aged >55 years who have a history of heavy smoking be screened annually for lung cancer.
If adopted, this initiative will bring an estimated 14% reduction in lung cancer–related mortality as a result of early disease detection, according to the USPSTF position paper, which was recently published online (Moyer VA. Ann Intern Med. 2014 January 14. Epub ahead of print).[ Read More ]
A mutation in any 1 of a suite of DNA repair pathway genes may predict not only the risk for familial prostate cancer, but also indicate the presence of a particular aggressive form of the disease, according to results of a new UK study from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. [ Read More ]