Breast Cancer Symposium

Comparative Effectiveness Research Should Reap Benefits for Oncology Care

Audrey Andrews

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.

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Current Patterns and Costs of Treating Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Audrey Andrews

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

San Francisco, CA—In a population of patients with metastatic breast cancer and Medicare Part D claims, the mean lifetime cost of treatment was approximately $102,000, according to a study presented at the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium by Hope S. Rugo, MD, Director, Breast Oncology Clinical Trials Program, University of California, San Francisco.

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

Audrey Andrews

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.

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

Audrey Andrews

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.

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Costly Acute Care Episodes Are Common for Patients with Early Breast Cancer

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

?San Francisco, CA—Acute care utilization, namely, emergency department visits and hospitalizations, are surprisingly common among patients with early breast cancer, according to a retrospective study using an administrative database in Ontario, Canada.

The findings coincide with current efforts, at least in the United States, to reduce acute care utilization as a chief means of reducing the cost of treating cancer. In fact, keeping patients with cancer away from emergency departments and hospitals has become a quality measure in many healthcare systems.

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Oncotype DX Score Predicts Residual Disease after Chemotherapy

Audrey Andrews

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).

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More Evidence Supports the Anticancer Effect of Metformin

Charles Bankhead

October 2012, Vol 3, No 7 - Breast Cancer Symposium

San Francisco, CA—Women with diabetes taking metformin had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer, an association that appeared to grow stronger with increasing duration of follow-up, results of a recent meta-analysis showed.

Overall, metformin users had a 17% lower risk of breast cancer compared with women who did not use the drug, including diabetic women who were taking other hypoglycemic agents. The reduction in risk increased to 25% among women who took metformin for >3 years and to 32% when follow-up started before 1997.

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