Value-Based Cancer Care Issues

June 2015, Vol 6, No 5

Value Propositions – June 2015

Value Propositions

  • Value-Based Drug Pricing a New Target for a Large PBM Company in Its Negotiations with Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Prenatal Blood Test Can Also Detect Cancer in Pregnant Women, Potentially in Other Populations
  • Myxoma, a Virus Found in Rabbits, Prevents GVHD in Bone Marrow Transplant While Destroying Cancer Cells
  • First-in-Class Inducer of the KLF4 Gene Receives FDA Designation as Orphan Drug
[ Read More ]

“Data in Motion” Will Promote Patient-Centric Care Models

Wayne Kuznar

AVBCC 2015 5th Annual Conference

Washington, DC—Personalized medicine will become even more critical ­­as care transitions to patient-centric, outcomes-based care models. The use of real-time data, along with an increasingly advanced understanding of cancer biology, will exponentially increase the number of treatment options for patients, making personalized treatment more effective and ultimately leading to better clinical and financial outcomes. [ Read More ]

Adding Radiation to First-Line FOLFOX Reduces Liver Metastases Progression in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Walter Alexander

ASCO 2015 Highlights

Chicago, IL—In patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with liver-dominant metastases who received first-line FOLFOX (leucovorin, fluorouracil [Adrucil], and oxaliplatin [Eloxatin]) with or without bevacizumab (Avastin) plus selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) compared with FOLFOX with or without bevacizumab, progression-free survival (PFS) in the liver was extended by 7.9 months, according to the results of the SIRFLOX trial, which were presented at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. [ Read More ]

Oral Nicotinamide Prevents Common Skin Cancers in High-Risk Patients

Phoebe Starr

ASCO 2015 Highlights

Chicago, IL—The prevention of common skin cancers and precancers is possible by taking an inexpensive, widely available, oral pill twice daily. The pill—the vitamin B3 supplement called nicotinamide—cut the rate of new squamous-cell and basal-cell skin cancers by 23% compared with placebo after 1 year among patients at high risk for skin cancer. Nicotinamide also reduced the risk for developing actinic keratosis, a common precancer of the skin. [ Read More ]

Immunotherapy Makes Headwinds into Liver Cancer

Wayne Kuznar

ASCO 2015 Highlights

Chicago, IL—Immunotherapy with nivolumab (Opdivo) resulted in durable responses and promising overall survival (OS) in a dose-escalation and expansion trial of patients with advanced liver cancer. The 12-month OS rate exceeded 60% in patients in whom sorafenib (Nexavar) had failed, and responses occurred in patients with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, reported Anthony B. El-Khoueiry, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. [ Read More ]

Docetaxel Boosts Survival in Patients with Hormone-Naïve Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Phoebe Starr

ASCO 2015 Highlights

Chicago, IL—Adding docetaxel (Taxotere) to standard hormone therapy extends overall survival (OS) by a median of 10 months versus hormone therapy alone in men with newly diagnosed, advanced, hormone therapy–naïve prostate cancer, according to the results of the STAMPEDE trial. The survival benefits were more pronounced in metastatic disease and were less certain in nonmetastatic disease. Another finding of this analysis of STAMPEDE is that zoledronic acid (Zometa) had no benefit in this setting. [ Read More ]

Early Initiation of Palliative Care Improves Survival in Patients with Advanced Cancer

Laura Morgan

Palliative Care

Palliative care offers symptom relief, comfort, and peaceful death to patients with advanced cancer. Historically, palliative care was provided to patients who were near death. Based on recent research, however, the American Society of Clinical Oncology now recommends combining palliative care with curative treatment early in the disease course. Nevertheless, an important question remains: How early in the disease trajectory should patients with advanced cancer begin receiving palliative care? [ Read More ]

Adding Ibrutinib to Standard Therapy Reduces Disease Progression by 80% in Previously Treated Patients with CLL

Phoebe Starr

Palliative Care

Chicago, IL—The combination of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) plus standard therapy with bendamustine (Treanda) and rituximab (Rituxan) significantly reduced the risk for disease progression or death by 80% compared with bendamustine plus rituximab alone in previously treated patients with chronic ­lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL), according to lead investigator Asher A. Chanan-Khan, MD, Chair, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL. [ Read More ]

Increasing Use of Value Analysis Committees in US Hospitals: Implications for Healthcare Providers and Manufacturers

Laura Morgan

Economics of Cancer Care

Philadelphia, PA—The growing focus on identifying and preventing overpayments and reducing waste in the healthcare system has prompted hospitals to adopt value analysis committees to curb unnecessary medical supply spending. In 2012, as many as 64% of US hospitals were using a value analysis committee to evaluate new devices and new supplies used in their institutions. [ Read More ]

Biomarker Testing Trends in Europe Linked to Availability of Specific Targeted Cancer Drugs

Personalized Medicine

Philadelphia, PA—In an era of personalized care, targeted cancer therapies are on the rise and are expected to reach nearly 60% of the global oncology and hematology drug markets by 2017. By testing for genetic biomarkers, physicians can predict patient response to cancer therapy and identify patients who will benefit most from these treatments, thus serving the 2 purposes of increasing the efficiency of treatment decisions and reducing the use of unnecessary drug prescribing and the associated costs. [ Read More ]

Jakafi (Ruxolitinib): First FDA-Approved Medication for the Treatment of Patients with Polycythemia Vera

Lisa A. Raedler, PhD, RPh

Drug Updates

Similar to myelofibrosis and essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera is a Philadelphia chromosome–negative myeloproliferative neoplasm. Polycythemia vera is characterized by the clonal stem-cell proliferation of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Increased red blood cell mass results in the hyperviscosity of the blood, an increased risk for thrombosis, poor quality of life, and a shortened life expectancy. [ Read More ]

In the Literature – June 2015

In the Literature

  • Palbociclib Prolongs Progression-Free Survival in Patients with Advanced Breast Cancer
  • Surveillance Imaging Not Cost-Effective in Patients with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma After First Remission
  • Bronchial Gene-Expression Classifier Improves Lung Cancer Diagnosis with Bronchoscopy
  • Serial Biomarker Measurements Double the Amount of Screening-Detected Cancers
  • Pazopanib with Depot Octreotide Has Antitumor Activity in Patients with Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors
[ Read More ]