Value-Based Cancer Care Issues

December 2017, Vol 8, No 5

Yescarta Second Gene Therapy Approved by FDA and First CAR T-Cell Therapy for Large B-Cell Lymphoma

FDA Approvals, News & Updates, Online First

On October 18, 2017, the FDA approved axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta; Kite Pharma), a CD19-directed genetically modified CAR T-cell immunotherapy, for the treatment, after ≥2 lines of systemic therapies, of adults with several types of relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma, including (1) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, (2) primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, (3) high-grade B-cell lymphoma, and (4) DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma. [ Read More ]

Verzenio a New CDK4/CDK6 Inhibitor Approved for Metastatic Breast Cancer

FDA Approvals, News & Updates, Online First

On September 28, 2017, the FDA approved abemaciclib (Verzenio; Eli Lilly), a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4/CDK6 inhibitor, in combination with fulvestrant, for the treatment of women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer that progressed after endocrine therapy, and as monotherapy for HR-positive, HER2-­negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer that progressed after endocrine therapy and previous chemotherapy in the metastatic setting. [ Read More ]

Alecensa a New First-Line Treatment for NSCLC with ALK Mutation

FDA Approvals, News & Updates, Online First

On November 6, 2017, the FDA approved alectinib (Alecensa; Genentech) for the treatment of patients with ALK mutation–positive, metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as detected by an FDA-approved test. On the same day, the FDA also converted alectinib’s initial accelerated approval to a full approval for the treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC and ALK mutation whose disease progressed with or who were intolerant of crizotinib (Xalkori). [ Read More ]

Treating Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma in Transplant-Eligible Patients

Corbin Davis

NCCN Hematologic Malignancies News

San Francisco, CA—Recent advances in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma have dramatically altered the trajectory of the disease, as providers now have several efficacious agents in various drug classes at their disposal. At the 2017 NCCN Hematologic Malignancies Congress, Shaji K. Kumar, MD, Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, provided management strategies for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, including the role of autologous stem-cell transplant (ASCT) and posttransplant maintenance therapy. [ Read More ]

Potentially Practice-Changing Results: PD-L1 Inhibitor for Unresectable, Stage III Lung Cancer

Phoebe Starr

ESMO 2017 Highlights

Madrid, Spain—Durvalumab (Imfinzi), a PD-L1 inhibitor, improved progression-free survival (PFS) by 11.2 months compared with placebo in patients with locally advanced, unresectable stage III non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that did not progress after standard treatment with chemoradiotherapy. These results—presented at the 2017 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress—come from PACIFIC, the first phase 3 clinical trial of a PD-L1 inhibitor in patients with locally advanced NSCLC outside of the metastatic setting. [ Read More ]

Rucaparib Maintenance Extends Survival

Phoebe Starr

ESMO 2017 Highlights

Madrid, Spain—Maintenance therapy with the poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor rucaparib (Rubraca) after response to platinum-containing therapy significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) by 11.2 months in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer compared with placebo, according to overall results of the ARIEL3 trial. The study was presented at the 2017 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress. [ Read More ]

Taselisib, a PI3K Inhibitor, Shrinks Tumors in Early Breast Cancer, with Added Activity in Patients with PI3KCA Mutation

Phoebe Starr

ESMO 2017 Highlights

For the first time, a randomized clinical trial has shown significant tumor shrinkage with a phos­phoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor in patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer. The phase 3 study LORELEI compared neoadjuvant therapy with letrozole plus placebo versus letrozole plus taselisib, a PI3K inhibitor, in this patient population. [ Read More ]

Identifying Correct Molecular Target Essential for Treating Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Wayne Kuznar

Value in Oncology

Orlando, FL—Non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) comprises several different subtypes, necessitating broad molecular panel testing to understand the correct diagnosis and the appropriate treatment, said Wallace Akerley, MD, Senior Director, Community Oncology Research, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, at the 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) annual conference. [ Read More ]

Rapid Adoption of Oncology Drugs Improves Survival

Chase Doyle

Value in Oncology

Innovation takes time, especially when it comes to cancer research. However, delays in the adoption of novel oncology treatments can have a significant impact on patient health, reported Jason Shafrin, PhD, Director of Healthcare Quality and Value-Based Research Methods, and Senior Research Economist, Precision Health Economics, Los Angeles, CA, who presented the results of a geographic-based analysis of claims data at the 2017 Cancer Survivorship Symposium. [ Read More ]

Clinical Pathways Help Integrate New Drugs, Reduce Variability in Care Delivery

Charles Bankhead

Clinical Pathways

Chicago, IL—Clinical pathways have an important role in the integration of new cancer drugs into clinical practice. Between January 2015 and mid-2017, the FDA granted more than 60 new approvals in oncology, with new drugs accounting for the vast majority (as opposed to new indications). Staying abreast of new drugs and new indications for specific types of cancer requires much time, which presents an extra burden on community oncologists. [ Read More ]

Identifying Long-Term Unmet Needs in Survivorship Care

Meg Barbor, MPH


New Orleans, LA—The number of cancer survivors is increasing. To keep up with this trend, survivorship care must evolve and become more efficient, insists Jennifer R. Klemp, PhD, MPH, MA, Director, Cancer Survivorship, University of Kansas Cancer Center, Westwood. A growing number of patients are living with or through their disease, while the provider workforce is shrinking. [ Read More ]