Value-Based Cancer Care Issues


August 2014, Vol 5, No 6

Older Patients with AML Live Longer with Azacitidine

Robert Osborne

EHA 2014

Milan, Italy—Older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) gained a “clinically significant,” if not statistically significant improvement in survival when treated with azacitidine (Vidaza) rather than with conventional therapy, reported Hervé Dombret, MD, hematologist, Hôpital Saint Louis in Paris, France, at the European Hematology Association meeting. [ Read More ]

Stopping TKIs Safe after Deep Molecular Response

Robert Osborne

EHA 2014

Milan, Italy—More than 60% of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) were free of relapse 6 months after stopping tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy that led to deep molecular remission, according to the interim results from an ongoing trial reported by Susanne Saussele, MD, of Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Germany, at the 2014 European Hematology Association meeting. [ Read More ]

Interinstitutional Variations in Cancer Treatment Identified

In the Literature

Little is known about why patient care varies greatly for patients with similar illnesses, such as in patients with different types of cancer. Variation in the care of patients with cancer signals a lack of consensus about what constitutes optimal care; this suggests important gaps in the evidence base in which research may have an effect. In a new study, researchers sought to systemically assess interinstitutional variation in the management decisions for 4 common cancers using the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Outcomes Database. [ Read More ]

New Payment Model Saves Money, Maintains Outcomes

Kate O’Rourke

In the Literature

New payment models that reward cost-effective, high-quality cancer care are needed. An experimental physician payment model that rewards physicians for focusing on best treatment practices and health outcomes rather than the widely used fee-for-service (FFS) model resulted in cost-savings, without affecting the quality of care among patients with 3 types of cancer. [ Read More ]

New Payment Models in Oncology Must Consider Value

Reimbursement

Economists predict that, in less than 3 years, the average household in the United States will use 50% of its income on health insurance and out-of-pocket medical bills. According to Lee N. Newcomer, MD, MHA, Senior Vice President, Oncology, Genetics and Women’s Health, UnitedHealthcare, Minnetonka, MN, creating payment models that can reimburse physicians for cost-effective care is difficult in itself, but demonstrating that the new models are indeed cost-effective involves another set of hurdles. [ Read More ]

ALTTO: Dual Anti-HER2 Adjuvant Therapy No Better than Trastuzumab Alone

Phoebe Starr

Breast Cancer

The addition of lapatinib (Tykerb) to trastuzumab (Herceptin) to create dual HER2 blockade was no better than trastuzumab alone in the adjuvant treatment of patients with HER2 breast cancer in the global phase 3 ALTTO (Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimisation) trial, reported Martine J. Piccart-Gebhart, MD, PhD, Chair, Breast International Group, Brussels, Belgium, at a plenary session at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. [ Read More ]

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

Wayne Kuznar

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 ]

Upfront Docetaxel Markedly Improves Survival

Wayne Kuznar

Prostate Cancer

Chicago, IL—The upfront addition of docetaxel to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) adds more than 1 year to overall survival (OS) compared with ADT alone in men with newly diagnosed hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, according to findings from a phase 3 study presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. [ Read More ]

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

Wayne Kuznar

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

Wayne Kuznar

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 ]