The Lynx Group

In the Literature

The overall mortality for lung cancer has declined in the United States, but little is known about the mortality trends by lung cancer subtype, because death certificates do not record this information. To address this limitation in the data collection, the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program has linked mortality records to incident cancer cases in all cancer types.
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The safety and durability of responses to multitargeted inhibitors in thyroid cancer are at least partially limited by side effects. In all, 70% of patients with medullary thyroid cancer carry the RET mutation; RET fusions are rare in other types of thyroid cancer. The efficacy and safety of selective RET inhibition in patients with RET-altered thyroid cancer is unknown.
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The prognosis of older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has been poor, even after treatment with a hypomethylating agent. A previous phase 1b study of azacitidine (Vidaza) added to venetoclax (Venclexta) showed promising efficacy and duration of response in treatment-naïve patients with AML who were ineligible for chemotherapy.
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Patients with anemia and lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in whom first-line erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) are not effective generally become transfusion dependent. Luspatercept-aamt (Reblozyl), a recombinant fusion protein that binds transforming growth factor beta superfamily ligands to reduce SMAD2 and SMAD3 signaling, was approved by the FDA in November 2019 and has been studied in this patient population with promising results.

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The discontinuation of oral oncology medications before the full-month supply has been finished results in medication waste, leading to increased costs for patients and for payers. Split fills allow for a 14- to 16-day supply for oral oncology medications rather than a full 28- to 30-day supply. Researchers compared the discontinuation rates, patient-reported adverse events, estimated pharmacy costs, and potential waste in patients with pharmacy benefit designs that included a split-fill option with patients who did not have this option (Staskon FC, et al. J Oncol Pract. 2019;15:e856-e862).

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Patient navigation is an increasingly recognized component of high-quality, patient-centered care. However, patient navigation in cancer programs is limited, often because of uncertainty about sustainable financial models to support these programs and defining the scope of practice. To demonstrate the benefits of patient navigation programs, researchers analyzed 5 real-world case studies (Kline RM, et al. J Oncol Pract. 2019;15:585-590).

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In the phase 2 STORM Part 1 clinical trial, 21% of patients with refractory multiple myeloma had a partial or better response to oral selinexor (Xpovio) plus dexamethasone. Those findings were the basis for the pivotal phase 2 STORM Part 2 study (Chari A, et al. N Engl J Med. 2019;381:727-738).
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The introduction of BRAF- and MEK-targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors has significantly improved outcomes in patients with metastatic melanoma. However, many patients have drug resistance—acquired or primary—which results in death from underlying disease.
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In a new analysis, researchers examined the estimated cost of lost earnings that resulted from cancer-related deaths in the United States, nationally and by state (Islami F, et al. JAMA Oncol. 2019 Jul 3 [Epub ahead of print].).
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The 2 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies available so far—axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) and tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah)—may be considered cost-effective treatments for adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), depending on the long-term outcomes of these patients, according to a recent cost-effective analysis (Lin JK, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Jun 3. Epub ahead of print).
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