Value-Based Cancer Care Issues


March 2016, Vol 7, No 2

Anthem’s Response to Survivorship Medicine: Reimbursement Based on Care Coordination and Patient Outcomes

Chase Doyle

Survivorship

Survivorship medicine has never been in more demand, but questions regarding reimbursement remain. According to Jennifer Malin, MD, PhD, Medical Director, Oncology and Care Management, Anthem, if cancer survivorship models are to succeed, they will need to integrate into new healthcare delivery models, with less focus on cost and more on improving care coordination. [ Read More ]

Atezolizumab, a PD-L1 Inhibitor, Shows Impressive Results in Metastatic Urothelial Cancer

Charles Bankhead

Emerging Therapies

Patients with previously treated metastatic urothelial cancer had response rates that exceeded historical standards when treated with an investigational immunotherapeutic agent, updated results of a large phase 2 clinical trial showed. Treatment with the PD-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor atezolizumab led to an overall response rate of 15% in 311 patients, including a 26% rate among patients who had the highest levels of PD-L1 expression. Historical data have demonstrated response rates of about 10% for second-line therapy and beyond. [ Read More ]

FDA News – March 2016

FDA Approvals, News & Updates

  • Imbruvica Now FDA Approved for First-Line Treatment of Patients with CLL
  • Gazyva Approved for the Treatment of Relapsed or Refractory Follicular Lymphoma
  • Ibrance Receives an Expanded Indication in Breast Cancer
  • Kyprolis Receives New Indication for Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma
  • FDA Grants Priority Review for Venetoclax as a Potential New Treatment for CLL
[ Read More ]

Liquid Biopsy Characterizing Circulating Tumor Cells Can Aid Treatment Selection in Prostate Cancer

Phoebe Starr

Personalized Medicine

A liquid biopsy using phlebotomy blood samples can identify phenotypes and genomic characteristics of circulating tumor cells that may personalize treatment selection for men with advanced prostate cancer, according to the results of a study presented by Howard I. Scher, MD, Chief, Genitourinary Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, at the 2016 ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. [ Read More ]

Biomarker Panel May Aid Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer

Charles Bankhead

Personalized Medicine

A panel of 4 blood-derived biomarkers showed promise as an aid to early detection of colo­rectal cancer (CRC). The panel yielded a negative predictive value exceeding 90% for CRC, the combination of CRC and high-risk adenomas, and colorectal plus other cancers. The biomarker assay demonstrated fair to good performance characteristics, associated with the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve ranging between 0.70 and 0.80. [ Read More ]

Inotuzumab Ozogamicin Shows Promise in Older Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Phoebe Starr

Emerging Therapies

Elderly patients with Philadelphia-negative B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have overall poor outcomes with current therapies. Results of a new study presented at ASH 2015 suggest that frontline treatment with the investigational antibody-drug conjugate inotuzumab ozogamicin in combination with deintensified chemotherapy is a good option for older patients with this disease. [ Read More ]

Big Data in Cancer Care: Limitations of Drug Claims

F. Randy Vogenberg, PhD, RPh, FASHP; Catherine E. Cooke, PharmD, BCPS

Employers’ Perspective

As one part of an ongoing macrotheme regarding big data, understanding the benefits and limitations of using drug claims in employer-based population health is an important topic for employers in their health plan coverage strategies. Pharmacy claims are a common source of data used to describe the uses of cancer medications by employees and by their covered family members. Despite the availability of these data and a plethora of analyses, however, several limitations must be considered when interpreting drug use data. [ Read More ]

Myeloablative Conditioning Remains Standard of Care in Patients with Myelodysplastic Sydrome

Phoebe Starr

Hematologic Malignancies

Traditional myeloablative conditioning remains the standard of care for preparing patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) for transplant, according to a randomized trial from the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN). The study, presented as a late-breaker at ASH 2015, was halted after a reduced-­intensity conditioning (RIC) regimen proved less effective. [ Read More ]

A New Paradigm for Survivorship Care: Assessing the Patient’s Priorities

Chase Doyle

Survivorship

A new paradigm of survivorship care is needed that attempts to balance the patient’s total well-being against the often toxic treatment of the disease, suggests Deborah Korenstein, MD, Director of Clinical Effectiveness, Memorial Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY. At the 2016 Cancer Survivorship Symposium, Dr Korenstein outlined a more personal approach to care: assessing the individual patient’s priorities and goals to balance long-term benefits and harms. [ Read More ]

New Survey: Physicians Are Not Addressing Financial Distress in Patients with Multiple Myeloma

Chase Doyle

Value in Oncology

Patients with multiple myeloma are making significant lifestyle trade-offs to manage the cost of healthcare, according to findings from the Cancer Experience Registry presented at ASH 2015. Joanne S. Buzaglo, PhD, Senior Vice President, Research and Training, Cancer Support Community, Philadelphia, PA, discussed survey results of patients with multiple myeloma who are assuming more costs, including direct costs (ie, copays and prescriptions) and indirect costs (ie, transportation costs and loss of income), which is leading to financial distress. [ Read More ]

Onivyde (Irinotecan Liposome Injection) a New Treatment Option for Patients with Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

Lisa A. Raedler, PhD, RPh

Drug Updates

There is an urgent unmet need for more effective therapies in pancreatic cancer. The American Cancer Society estimated that approximately 49,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2015, and more than 40,500 people will die from this cancer.1 Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. [ Read More ]