The Lynx Group

May 2012, Vol 3, No 3

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the oral agent pazopanib (Votrient; GlaxoSmith-Kline) for the treatment of patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcoma who have previously received chemotherapy.
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Houston, TX—The need to optimize the treatment of patients with cancer while using healthcare resources wisely—in other words, providing “value-based cancer care”—is not a topic of debate, but how to achieve this pressing goal is far from clear. In a panel discussion during the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care’s Second Annual Conference, strategists from the payer side of the issue discussed the current trends and the challenges they are facing.
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Baltimore, MD—It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It is with this sensibility that Donald P. Howard of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began his presentation at the 2012 Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) meeting, detailing the current state of the hospital value-based purchasing (VBP) program.
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Hollywood, FL—Cancer care today is influenced by an ever-broadening array of players, and what was once an intimate relationship between patient and physician now involves multiple decision makers. At the 2012 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) meeting, a panel of various stakeholder groups addressed the questions of what and who defines “optimal care” for today’s patient.
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Houston, TX—On March 29-31, 2012, approximately 200 oncologists, payers, employers, managed care executives, pharmacy benefit managers, and other stakeholders convened for the Second Annual Stakeholder Integration Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC). The mission of the conference was to align the various perspectives around the central needs of defining value in cancer care and developing strategies for enhancing patient outcomes.
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What is the most important challenge faced by a person who is diagnosed with cancer today? Opinions will differ, but most patients want to be assured that they will work with a group of multispecialty physicians who will provide recommendations for care that provide the best possible outcomes, that all options for effective treatment will be available to them, that care will be provided in a safe and comfortable hospital or other facility, and that the healthcare staff will care about their problems and concerns with managing treatment, professional issues, and family issues.
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Chicago, IL—For the individual at average risk for disease, whole-genome sequencing (WGS)—mapping the sequence of one’s full set of genetic material—is not a crystal ball to reliably predict future health, according to a study presented at the 2012 American Association for Cancer Research meeting.
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Chicago, IL—Metformin cannot seem to stay out of the news. This antidiabetes drug that is derived from the French lilac is now also thought to possibly protect against liver cancer, lower the risk for oral cancer, improve prognosis of pancreatic cancer in diabetic patients, and increase response to melanoma tumors with BRAF mutations when used in combination with a common cancer drug, according to several studies presented at the 2012 American Association for Cancer Research meeting.
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Chicago, IL—Targeting prostate cancer with extreme accuracy, using tissue oxygen content to predict its recurrence, and using breast cancer drugs on brain tumors were a few highlights of a news conference on advances in personalized medicine at the 2012 American Association for Cancer Research meeting.
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Baltimore, MD—According to Ernest Anderson, Jr, MS, RPh, System Vice President of Pharmacy, Steward Health Care System, Boston, MA, “If you’re not familiar with the drug shortage issue, you must be living under a rock.”
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