Wayne Kuznar


Authored Items

Value-Based Insurance Design in Oncology

July 2011, Vol 2, No 4 - Value in Oncology

Philadelphia, PA—The “one-size-fitsall” approach to current benefit designs does not recognize that health services have different levels of value; such an approach, therefore, lacks incentives for patients to adhere to diagnostic tests and treatments with proven effectiveness that may help to contain costs to various healthcare stakeholders. [ Read More ]

The Role of Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Treatment

July 2011, Vol 2, No 4 - Cancer Care

Philadelphia, PA—The field of oncology stands to benefit greatly from molecular diagnostic trends, according to Jane F. Barlow, MD, MPH, MBA, Vice President, Clinical Innovation, Medco Health Solutions, who offered a pharmacy benefit manager’s (PBM) perspective of the role of diagnostics, including the use of companion tests in drug development. These companion tests will represent another potential expenditure and coverage decision for PBM companies. [ Read More ]

The Age of Personalized Oncology Therapies

July 2011, Vol 2, No 4 - Personalized Medicine

Philadelphia, PA—The age of personalized cancer therapies is upon us. In oncology, personalized medicine encompasses the use of tests to determine the genes and gene interactions that can reliably predict an individual’s response to therapy or the chance of disease recurrence. The use of molecular diagnostic testing that provides the genomic profile of an individual’s tumor facilitates an understanding of some specific tumors that allows the selection of a treatment most likely to induce a response in that patient.

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A New Option for Metastatic Breast Cancer

July 2011, Vol 2, No 4 - Breast Cancer

Philadelphia, PA—The new biologic therapy eribulin (Halaven) was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. Stephen C. Malamud, MD, Attending Physician, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City, discussed the benefits and risks associated with this new treatment option at a special session during the meeting.

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Patient Navigation and Patient Assistance Programs in Oncology

July 2011, Vol 2, No 4 - Patient Navigation

Philadelphia, PA—The medically under - served population needs easier access to healthcare and tools that provide a seamless transition between all phases of the treatment process, from screening through therapy and survivorship. Payers play an important role in the future of oncology and need to be in the decision-making network.

Patient assistance and patient navigation programs aim to provide patients with reliable education to inform their decision-making, but these programs are sometimes referred to as “add-ons,” and they cost money.

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The Impact of Therapy Type on Clinical Fragmentation in Oncology Care

July 2011, Vol 2, No 4 - Oncology

Philadelphia, PA—Fragmentation in oncology care significantly influences physicians’, payers’, and patients’ understanding of how cancer therapies lead to improved quality of care. The main reason for fragmentation is the challenge in linking pharmacy and medical data in a way that generates usable information, according to Atheer A. Kaddis, PharmD, Vice President, Managed Markets, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy. [ Read More ]

Comparative Effectiveness Analysis of 3 Radiation Therapies for Prostate Cancer

February 2012, Vol 3, No 1 - Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

San Francisco, CA—A new, large comparative effectiveness analysis of 3 techniques for delivering radiation therapy for the treatment of localized prostate cancer supports intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) as the current standard, said Ronald Chen, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, and Research Fellow, Sheps Center for Health Services Research, UNC at the 2012 annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

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External Beam Radiation More Toxic, Costlier than Brachytherapy or Prostatectomy

March 2012, Vol 3, No 2 - Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

San Francisco, CA—In a retrospective long-term comparative analysis of 3 prostate cancer treatment strategies, treatment with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) was more toxic and costlier than prostatectomy and brachytherapy, according to Cleveland Clinic researchers who presented their data at the 2012 annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. In most other studies, the reported treatment-related toxicity data cover a follow-up period of only 5 years, said lead investigator Jay P. Ciezki, MD, Staff Physician, Cleveland Clinic. [ Read More ]

Personalized Vaccine Promising When Added to Sunitinib in Patients with Metastatic Renal-Cell Carcinoma

March 2012, Vol 3, No 2 - Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

San Francisco, CA—A personalized form of immunotherapy added to sunitinib (Sutent) treatment prolonged survival to beyond 30 months in almost half of patients with newly diagnosed, unfavorable-risk metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (mRCC), according to the results of an open-label phase 2 study presented at the 2012 Genitourinary Cancer Symposium. Only approximately 1 in 10 patients with unfavorable-risk mRCC treated with sunitinib, the standard first-line treatment for clear-cell mRCC, survive past 30 months. [ Read More ]

Dose Escalation of Axitinib as Second-Line Treatment of mRCC May Be Needed to Optimize Outcome

March 2012, Vol 3, No 2 - Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

San Francisco, CA—The dosage of axitinib, the standard second-line treatment for metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (mRCC), should be uptitrated in those patients who fail to achieve therapeutic blood levels on the standard 5-mg daily dosage, according to a new analysis of an international randomized trial presented at the 2012 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. [ Read More ]

Many Patients with mRCC Ineligible for Clinical Trials

March 2012, Vol 3, No 2 - Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

San Francisco, CA—A large number of patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (mRCC) are ineligible for clinical trials and their clinical outcomes are inferior to those of patients who are trial eligible, according to a study presented at the 2012 Genitouri nary Cancers Symposium. The data were presented by the International mRCC Database Con sorti um, a group that analyzed data from 17 international cancer centers on consecutive series of patients with mRCC. Clinical trials have strict eligibility criteria to maintain internal validity. [ Read More ]

Unforeseen Hospital Admissions Are Frequent for Patients Receiving Radiotherapy

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

Approximately 1 in 5 patients with cancer who are undergoing radiotherapy as part of their treatment can count on unexpected hospital stays—adding an economic and clinical burden on the patient and on the healthcare system, according to an analysis by Nabeel H. Arastu, BS, and colleagues at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, which was presented at the 2012 ASCO meeting.

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Cancer Screening Saves Lives, Is Cost-Effective

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

Chicago, IL—Improved cancer screening can save lives, and despite the high cost of implementing such a measure, it was found cost-effective and therefore valuable in a recent analysis using quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), said Michael S. Broder, MD, President of Partnership for Health Analytic Research, LLC (PHAR), CA, and colleagues, at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.

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Tivozanib Outperforms Sorafenib as First-Line Treatment in Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma

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

Tivozanib, a potent investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor with a long half-life, demonstrated significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) as first-line targeted therapy for metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (RCC), according to results from a phase 3 randomized, open-label trial.

The results suggest that “tivozanib should be considered a first-line treatment option for metastatic RCC,” said Robert Motzer, MD, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and the trial’s lead investigator.

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Ponatinib Produces High Response Rates in Hard-to-Treat Leukemia

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

Atlanta, GA—The new oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) ponatinib (Iclusig) has significant activity and is well tolerated in patients with highly pretreated chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or with Philadelphia chromosome–positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) who otherwise lack therapeutic options. Twelve-month follow-up data from a pivotal phase 2 trial of ponatinib in this population were reported by Jorge E. Cortes, MD, Professor of Medicine and Deputy Chair, Department of Leukemia, at M.D. [ Read More ]

Ruxolitinib Treatment Reduces Myelofibrosis Symptoms, Spleen Size

February 2013, Vol 4, No 2 - ASH Annual Meeting

Atlanta, GA—Ruxolitinib (Jakafi) alleviates symptoms such as fever, headache, weight loss, and fatigue, and reduces spleen size in patients with myelofibrosis. This finding, by the French Intergroup of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (FIM), confirms those from the COMFORT-I and COMFORT-II trials, in which significant reductions in spleen volume were observed with ruxolitinib at weeks 24 and 48.

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Variations in Cancer Treatment Raise Average Cost of Care by $25,000 per Patient

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

Chicago, IL—Inappropriate deviation from evidence-based standards of care for cancer raises costs in excess of $25,000 per patient, stated Arlene A. Forastiere, MD, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at eviti, Inc, Philadelphia, PA, in a poster presented at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

In Dr Forastiere’s review of oncology treatment plans for 2544 patients, approximately 25% of the patients had treatment plans that did not conform to evidence-based standards.

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Use of High-Cost Tests for Lung Cancer Surveillance Rising

June 2013, Vol 4, No 5 - Economics of Cancer Care

Chicago, IL—The use of costly diagnostic imaging of uncertain value is increasing rapidly for patients with localized non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database. Frequent surveillance imaging was found for white patients and for those with higher socioeconomic status, despite lack of evidence for its value and its high cost, said Jason D. [ Read More ]

ASCO President Highlights Bridges to Conquer Cancer

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

Chicago, IL—“Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer” was the theme of the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, as well as of the address of ASCO’s outgoing President Sandra M. Swain, MD.

Dr Swain’s address focused on 3 pillars of the theme: (1) ensuring global health equity, (2) the need to strengthen future generations of leaders and providers, and (3) the vision for a rapid learning system in oncology. These 3 issues “belong squarely on our personal and professional radar screens,” she said.

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Mammography Screening Rates Enhanced by Copay Elimination

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Economics of Cancer Care

Chicago, IL—Removing copays may help boost mammography screening rates for all age-groups above age 40 years. One insurer found a significant increase in screening rates with the removal of a copay, said Jeffrey M. Peppercorn, MD, MPH, Medical Oncologist at Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC.

A significant number of middle-aged women who live in rural locales do not pursue even biennial breast cancer screening, and cost may play a role, according to insurance claims data Dr Peppercorn presented at ASCO 2013.

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Poor Adherence to Oral Cancer Drugs a Growing Concern

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Economics of Cancer Care

Chicago, IL—The number of oral oncolytic drugs has increased dramatically, but despite increased convenience, there is growing concern regarding adherence, said Winson Y. Cheung, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia Division of Medical Oncology, Vancouver, at a session on adherence at ASCO 2013. “Oral drugs shift the onus of treatment adherence from healthcare providers to patients,” Dr Cheung said.

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Causes for Hospital Readmissions of Patients with Cancer

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Economics of Cancer Care

Chicago, IL—Hospitalizations and readmissions add substantial costs to healthcare. The annual cost of 30-day hospital readmissions in the United States is estimated to be $16 billion. In addition, bundled payment models may eliminate additional payment for readmissions in a specified period after discharge.

Several poster presentations at ASCO 2013 explored factors associated with readmission or unplanned hospitalizations in patients with cancer.

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New Technologies Bring No Upward Shift in Treatment of Local Prostate Cancer

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Prostate Cancer

Chicago, IL—The rate of therapy for localized prostate cancer does not increase in markets with higher penetration of robotic surgical technology and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), according to an examination of trends using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare–linked data­base, according to a poster presentation at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting by lead investigator Florian Rudolf Schroeck, MD, MS, Clinical Lecturer, Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy Can Persist a Decade after Stopping Treatment for Colorectal Cancer

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Drug Updates

Symptoms of neuropathy may be evident a decade or more after completion of chemotherapy regimens that had been for the treatment of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), reported researchers from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Their recent study (Mols F, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2013;31:2699-2707) was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the Dutch Cancer Society.

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Emerging Therapies and New Approaches in the “Double-Refractory” Setting in Myeloma

September 2013, Vol 4, No 7 - Drug Updates

Chicago, IL—Advances in the understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma and the identification of new drugs have resulted in improved management of myeloma, including for disease refractory to the recent proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents that have been added to the treatment of patients with myeloma.

New therapeutic strategies are needed in this challenging population, said Robert Z. Orlowski, PhD, MD, Professor, Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

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Redesigning Clinical Trials Necessary to Enhance Discovery of Effective Targeted Drugs in the Genomic Era

October 2013, Vol 4, No 8 - Personalized Medicine

Boston, MA—Defining optimal therapeutic efficacy in the genomic era will require that clinical trial design in oncology move from a drug-centric approach to a patient-centric one. Retrofitting current knowledge into old paradigms will slow the progress in discovering effective targeted agents, said Razelle Kurzrock, MD, Director, Center for Personalized Therapy and Clinical Trials, Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, at the Global Biomarkers Consortium Second Annual Conference.

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Bronchial/Nasal Gene-Expression Tests for Early Detection of Lung Cancer

November 2013, Vol 4, No 9 - Personalized Medicine

Boston, MA—Diagnosing lung cancer by swabbing a patient’s nose may be possible in the not-too-distant future. Changes in nasal gene expression in patients with lung cancer have been found to correlate with changes in gene expression in the bronchus, opening the door to the possibility of nasal gene expression as an early diagnostic biomarker of lung cancer, said Avrum Spira, MD, MSc, Director, Translational Bioinformatics Program, Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

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Practical Problems Must Be Overcome to Move Personalized Medicine Forward in Oncology

November 2013, Vol 4, No 9 - Personalized Medicine

Boston, MA—Incorporating personalized medicine into everyday oncology clinical practice will require new paradigms in an effort to match patients with cancer with the appropriate therapies, as well as attempts to treat solid tumors at an earlier stage with targeted agents, said Razelle Kurzrock, MD, Director, Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Moores Cancer Center, at the Second Global Biomarkers Consortium annual conference.

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Next-Generation Sequencing Identifies “Actionable” Genomic Alterations in Solid Tumors

November 2013, Vol 4, No 9 - Personalized Medicine

Boston, MA—Next-generation sequencing is a valuable tool to identify actionable genomic alterations that may be present in a tumor sample, said Gary A. Palmer, MD, JD, MBA, MPH, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Commercial Development, Foundation Medicine, Cambridge, MA, at the Second Glob­al Biomarkers Consortium annual conference.

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Hematologic Drug Pipeline Boasts Novel Approaches

February 2014, Vol 5, No 1 - Emerging Therapies

New Orleans, LA—Novel options for the treatment of patients with hematologic conditions are in the pharmaceutical pipeline, with many drugs showing promising results. Here is a look at key studies presented at the 2013 American Society of Hematology annual meeting.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Phase 3 studies of idelalisib demonstrated impressive progression-free survival (PFS) in previously treated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

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Physicians Must Consider the Financial Burden Associated with Allogeneic Transplants

February 2014, Vol 5, No 1 - Economics of Cancer Care

New Orleans, LA—Recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant are at high risk for financial burden, according to survey-based data collected by Nandita Khera, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist from the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Phoenix, and colleagues.
The reasons include prolonged hospital stays, living away from home, high out-of-pocket (OOP) costs, ex­tended duration of work loss for the patient and caregiver, and the occurrence of chronic medical problems, including complications from the transplant.

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Rituximab Infusions Costlier When Given in the Hospital than in the Office Setting

February 2014, Vol 5, No 1 - Economics of Cancer Care

New Orleans, LA—More patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are receiving rituximab infusions in the hospital setting, incurring greater costs than those receiving infusions in the office or clinic, an examination of medical and pharmacy claims has shown.

Rituximab in combination with CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubi­cin, vincristine, and prednisone) is the recommended first-line therapy for DLBCL, improving overall survival compared with CHOP alone.

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Significant Hospital Costs Tied to 30-Day Readmissions for Allogeneic Transplants

February 2014, Vol 5, No 1 - Economics of Cancer Care

New Orleans, LA—New research has confirmed that 30-day readmission for reduced-toxicity conditioning allogeneic hematopoietic-cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is linked to greater 100-day posttransplant hospital charges.

The finding justifies 30-day readmission as a significant marker of quality of care, said lead investigator Sherri Rauenzahn, MD, a palliative care fellow at West Virginia University in Morgantown, who presented her data at ASH 2013.

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Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma Associated with High Clinical Burden, Resource Utilization, and Costs

February 2014, Vol 5, No 1 - Economics of Cancer Care

New Orleans, LA—Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is associated with high resource utilization rates and high overall costs, according to a multicenter study presented at ASH 2013. Hospitalizations, in particular, represent a major clinical and economic burden, indicating the need for treatments requiring lower resource utilization with better PTCL management.

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Genetics Providing New Insights into Signaling Pathways and Treatment Targets in ALL

February 2014, Vol 5, No 1 - Personalized Medicine

New Orleans, LA—Those frustrated with low long-term remission rates in adult patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) can find hope in the superior outcomes associated with treatment for pediatric ALL. Overall survival (OS) with therapy reaches 85% in children but lags in adults at 45%. Targeting specific pathways and adding novel agents to standard therapy should improve outcomes in adult patients.

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Adjuvant Chemotherapy Benefit in Stage II Colon Cancers Is Small, May Even Cause Harm, Depending on Prognostic Markers

February 2014, Vol 5, No 1 - GI Cancers Symposium

San Francisco, CA—The majority of patients with stage II colorectal cancer (CRC) have a good prognosis with surgery and gain little with adjuvant chemotherapy, said Richard M. Goldberg, MD, Physician-in-Chief, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH, at the 2014 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

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Switching from Intravenous to Subcutaneous Rituximab Saves Staff Time and Money

March 2014, Vol 5, No 2 - Economics of Cancer Care

New Orleans, LA—The efficiency of rituximab (Rituxan) and the associated cost can be improved by switching from intravenous (IV) to subcutaneous (SC) administration. Such a switch led to a substantial reduction in patient chair time and in active healthcare professional time, said Christof Wiesner, PhD, MPH, of the Market Access Department, Genentech, San Francisco, CA, at the ASH 2013 meeting. [ Read More ]

Understanding Molecular Subtypes Is Basis for Genomic Medicine in Prostate Cancer

March 2014, Vol 5, No 2 - Personalized Medicine

Boston, MA—Incorporating genomics into the practice of medicine requires the demonstration of the ability of biomarkers to impact clinical decision-making, and ensuring that patients receive the best therapy based on genomic findings. Scott A. Tomlins, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Urology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, reviewed efforts to realize genomic medicine into prostate cancer diagnosis and management at the second Global Biomarkers Consortium annual conference. [ Read More ]

Implications of the ACA for Cancer Care

April 2014, Vol 5, No 3 - Economics of Cancer Care

Hollywood, FL—The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in its infancy, but it is already changing oncology practice, said panelists at the 2014 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Conference roundtable discussion. The consequences of the ACA include the changing composition of oncology patients, the risk pool of the exchanges, new payment and reimbursement models, acquisition fever, and oncology workforce demands, the panelists said. [ Read More ]

New Molecular Test to Monitor Breast Cancer Recurrence by Sequencing Circulating Tumor Cells

April 2014, Vol 5, No 3 - Personalized Medicine

A genomic test to sequence the circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from whole blood, ClearID Breast Cancer from Cynvenio Biosystems, is now available commercially to molecularly monitor for breast cancer recurrence. The test uses a standard blood draw from which DNA from tumor cells is isolated and interrogated using next-generation–sequencing tools to determine the presence of cancer-associated DNA mutations. [ Read More ]

Personalized Cancer Care: Combination Therapies May Be Key to Hitting Tumor Heterogeneity

April 2014, Vol 5, No 3 - Personalized Medicine

Boston, MA—Combinations of targeted therapies will be key to overcoming resistance that occurs in tumor cells and leads to eventual failure of a single targeted agent, said Alex Adjei, MD, PhD, the Katherine Anne Gioia Chair in Cancer Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, at the Second Global Biomarkers Consortium annual conference. [ Read More ]

Updated NCCN Melanoma Guideline Adds BRAF Inhibitor and MEK Inhibitor to First-Line Targeted Therapeutic Options

April 2014, Vol 5, No 3 - NCCN 2014 Conference

Hollywood, FL—The updated National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for the management of melanoma now include the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (Tafinlar) as a Category 1 recommendation for the primary treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma and BRAF mutation, as well as the use of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK) inhibitor trametinib (Mekinist) for the treatment of patients with melanoma and BRAF mutation. These 2 drugs, which received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval last year, are now added to the NCCN targeted therapies for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic melanoma. [ Read More ]

Payers Facing Multiple Challenges in Ensuring Access to Cancer Care

May 2014, Vol 5, No 4 - AVBCC 2014 4th Annual Conference

Los Angeles, CA—The cost of cancer care is a major cost driver for payers, who are actively engaging in the management of this complex disease state. Payer approaches to cancer care continue to evolve, with new reimbursement methodologies key to maintaining affordability, said Gary M. Owens, MD, President, Gary Owens Associates, Ocean View, DE, and John Fox, MD, MHA, Senior Medical Director and Associate Vice President of Medical Affairs, Priority Health, Grand Rapids, MI, at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. [ Read More ]

Emerging Targeted Therapies for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Show Promise

May 2014, Vol 5, No 4 - Pancreatic Cancer

San Francisco, CA—New cytotoxic combinations introduced over the past several years for the treatment of advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma now constitute the standard of care for the treatment of all stages of the disease. Eileen M. O’Reilly, MD, Gastrointestinal Medical Oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, reviewed emerging treatments at the 2014 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. [ Read More ]

Advances in the Treatment of Patients with Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

May 2014, Vol 5, No 4 - Prostate Cancer

Hollywood, FL—The treatment options for patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) have increased over the past few years. Understanding the clinical disease states is essential when choosing therapy for this patient population, according to Celestia S. Higano, MD, Professor of Medicine and Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, who described the recent additions to the therapeutic armamentarium at the 2014 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Conference. [ Read More ]

Treatment Paradigm for Lung Cancer Shifting Toward Targeted Therapies, Immunotherapy

May 2014, Vol 5, No 4 - Lung Cancer

Hollywood, FL—Driver mutations, most frequently KRAS and EGFR, account for approximately 50% of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and this recognition is shifting the NSCLC treatment paradigm toward targeted therapy when possible, said Leora Horn, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/ Oncology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, at the 2014 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Conference. [ Read More ]

AVBCC Expert Panel: Impact of Personalized Medicine on Future and Current Therapies

June 2014, Vol 5, No 5 - AVBCC 2014 4th Annual Conference

Los Angeles, CA—Increasing complexities in diagnostic science, the development of precision medicine, and the use of targeted agents require un­precedented levels of collaboration between pharmaceutical manufacturers, government agencies, and payers, said oncology experts during a panel discussion on personalized medicine at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. [ Read More ]

The Value of Personalized Medicine Lies in Evidence Thresholds, Drug Testing, and Pricing Trends

June 2014, Vol 5, No 5 - AVBCC 2014 4th Annual Conference

Los Angeles, CA—Although targeted drug development and testing are clearly transforming medicine, resistance to greater uptake of personalized medicine includes a shift in the evidence threshold in personalized testing and drawbacks to the delivery system, including the cost of molecular tests, said Peter B. Bach, MD, Director, Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. [ Read More ]

Delaying ADT for PSA-Only Relapse May Be Viable Option for Men with Prostate Cancer and PSA-Only Relapses

June 2014, Vol 5, No 5 - ASCO 2014 Highlights

Chicago, IL—Delaying androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for at least 2 years did not lead to worse overall survival or prostate cancer–specific survival compared with the initiation of ADT within 3 months of rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in men with PSA-only relapse (ie, biochemical relapse) after the primary treatment of prostate cancer with surgery or radiation, according to the results of a large population-based study presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting and highlighted at a press briefing. [ Read More ]

Adjuvant Exemestane More Effective than Tamoxifen in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

August 2014, Vol 5, No 6 - Breast Cancer

Chicago, IL—Adjuvant exemestane is more effective at preventing breast cancer recurrences than tamoxifen when given with ovarian function suppression (OFS) in young women with hormone receptor–positive early breast cancer, reported Olivia Pagani, MD, Clinical Director, Breast Unit, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. [ Read More ]

Oncology Pipeline Bustling, But Value Concerns Lead to Increased Payer Scrutiny

August 2014, Vol 5, No 6 - AVBCC 2014 4th Annual Conference

Los Angeles, CA—Targeted therapies have dramatically increased their share of global oncology sales over the past decade. But concerns over value have led to more payer scrutiny of targeted therapies and other oncology drugs, suggested Doug Long, Vice President, Industry Relations, IMS Health, at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. [ Read More ]

Using IBM Watson Electronic System to Guide Patient Management in Oncology

August 2014, Vol 5, No 6 - AVBCC 2014 4th Annual Conference

Los Angeles, CA—IBM Watson computer is changing the face of oncology practice through its massive parallel computing system, utilizing natural language processing and cognitive machine computing. Unlike HAL 9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the IBM Watson system does not interpret the results but rather builds on information it receives from previous operations and offers possible solutions to new queries, said Mark G. Kris, MD, William and Joy Ruane Chair, Thoracic Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. [ Read More ]

Oncologists Can Become Value-Based Providers Using Evidence to Guide Patient Care

September 2014, Vol 5, No 7 - Value in Oncology

Chicago, IL—Oncologists should become value-based providers by eliminating unnecessary tests, prescribing cheaper alternatives when therapeutic equivalents exist, and keep calling for payment reform, said Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, Chair, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, during a session on defining value from different stakeholder perspectives. [ Read More ]

Predictive Testing Holds More Value to Oncology Stakeholders than Prognostic Testing

September 2014, Vol 5, No 7 - AVBCC 2014 4th Annual Conference

Los Angeles, CA—Predictive testing offers greater value over prognostic testing to most stakeholders in cancer care, because it has a direct impact on disease treatment rather than simply predicting the course of the disease (which is, ironically, the role of prognostic testing), said S. Macey Johnson III, MBA, Vice President, Managed Care and Reimbursement, bioTheranostics, San Diego, CA, at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. [ Read More ]

Payer Challenges in Oncology: Establishing Standards and Access to Quality Care

September 2014, Vol 5, No 7 - AVBCC 2014 4th Annual Conference

Los Angeles, CA—Payers are scrambling to devise effective strategies to cope with rapidly changing access to quality cancer care as a result of escalating costs. At the Fourth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care, John Fox, MD, MHA, Associate Vice President of Medical Affairs at Priority Health, Grand Rapids, MI, tackled changing access and payer challenges in oncology. [ Read More ]