Value-Based Cancer Care Issues

April 2014, Vol 5, No 3

Implications of the ACA for Cancer Care

Wayne Kuznar

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 ]

Phi Index Can Select Patients with Prostate Cancer for Active Surveillance

Phoebe Starr

Prostate Cancer

San Francisco, CA—A new tool called the Prostate Health Index (phi) can identify which patients with favorable-risk prostate cancer can safely be managed with active surveillance and which patients will probably require treatment. The phi index is relatively low tech and is calculated using 3 serum measurements: prostate-specific antigen (PSA), free/total PSA, and a measurement called [-2]proPSA. [ Read More ]

Oncotype DX May Not Be Necessary to Predict Recurrence in Low-Grade Breast Cancer

Rosemary Frei, MSc

Personalized Medicine

San Diego, CA—Results of a new small study have shown that histology without the use of Oncotype DX Breast Cancer assay accurately predicts the risk for recurrence in low-grade breast carcinoma. Although Oncotype DX is useful in predicting recurrence in high-grade breast cancer, this study suggests that low-grade tumors may be adequately assessed for recurrence by histology only. [ Read More ]

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

Wayne Kuznar

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 ]

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

Wayne Kuznar

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 ]