The Lynx Group

March 2012, Vol 3, No 2

Interview with Linda Bosserman, MD, Clinical Oncologist and President of Wilshire Oncology Medical Group, La Verne, CA
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San Francisco, CA—Using a prediction model to analyze the impact of adding targeted agents to the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs), everolimus (Afinitor) had a minimal overall impact on healthcare expenditures, by reducing infusions and surgical procedures costs, according to a study presented at the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.
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New Orleans, LA—According to the American Medical Association (AMA) and many oncologists, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) diagnostic coding system will be a needless and expensive burden to oncology practices, without enhancing patient care.
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San Francisco, CA—In a retrospective long-term comparative analysis of 3 prostate cancer treatment strategies, treatment with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) was more toxic and costlier than prostatectomy and brachytherapy, according to Cleveland Clinic researchers who presented their data at the 2012 annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.
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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an updated label for imatinib (Gleevec; Novartis) for the use of the drug in adults after the surgical removal of CD117-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
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A new House bill—the Drug Shortage Prevention Act (H.R. 3839)— received bipartisan support to expedite the FDA review of drugs in shortage, improve communication within the agency and with stakeholders about possible shortages, and increase Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) quotas for medications in short supply.
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As many as 15% to 30% of patients who receive BRAF inhibitors (eg, vemurafenib, dabrafenib) for the treatment of metastatic melanoma develop nonmelanoma skin cancers. Data from a new study suggest that this paradoxical effect may be caused by squamous-cell carcinoma cell lines with RAS mutation that proliferate on exposure to these drugs (Su F, et al. N Engl J Med. 2012;366:207-215).
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Several studies have suggested that statins may have protective effects against cancer. The results of the first study to investigate the association between statin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were recently published (Tsan YT, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2012;30:623-630).
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A new study has now investigated the prognosis of patients with gastric cancer who have a family history of the disease and have undergone gastrectomy (Han MA, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2012;30:701-708).
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The treatment options for myelofibrosis are very limited, with ruxolitinib the potent Janus kinase (JAK) 1 and 2 inhibitor, being the first and only drug approved specifically for this condition late last year.
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