The Lynx Group

November 2015, Vol 6, No 10


San Francisco, CA—A new genetic test may allow clinicians to improve their therapy decisions by better categorizing patients into specific subtypes compared with conventional immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) subtyping. According to data presented at the 2015 Breast Cancer Symposium, the BluePrint 80-gene assay reclassifies approximately 23% of tumors, allowing for more effective therapy selection, particularly in patients with triple-positive (HER2-positive/hormone receptor–positive) disease.
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San Antonio, TX—Supplements that are often sold in supermarkets and health food stores to promote “men’s health” or “prostate health” do not provide any clinical benefits to men with prostate cancer, according to the results of a retrospective study presented at the 2015 American Society for Radiation Oncology annual meeting. Men’s health supplements did not significantly prevent distant metastasis, prostate cancer–related death, or treatment-related adverse events in this first-of-its-kind study.
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“Centers of Excellence” (COEs) is not a new concept in healthcare. The underlying hypothesis is that providers who specialize in a particular procedure or service will produce superior, predictable outcomes. Payers have developed COE networks to manage cost and quality for complex medical conditions for more than 2 decades, steering volume to high-performing providers in exchange for discounted contractual rates. Under significant pressure to reduce the burden of cancer spending, payers are beginning to make bold network decisions, including narrowing networks, but they need precision tools to ensure that quality of care is uncompromised, and even improved, while reining in unsustainable cost trends.
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Vienna, Austria—Results from a new study provide reassurance to women who have cancer while pregnant that they can safely receive treatment during the second or third trimester with chemotherapy or radiation without compromising their unborn child. The study showed that children born to mothers who receive chemotherapy or radiation during pregnancy had no impairment in general health, cognition, or cardiac function compared with children born to healthy mothers, said lead investigator Frédéric Amant, MD, PhD, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium.
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An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And now it seems that 4 cups of coffee a day may reduce recurrence and death in patients with stage III colon cancer after surgical resection and adjuvant chemotherapy, according to a study led by Brendan J. Guercio, MD, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
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Barcelona, Spain—Controlling and minimizing nausea and vomiting enables patients with cancer to continue their chemotherapy. A clinical trial reported at the 2015 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer shows that the newly approved agent aprepitant (Emend), an oral neurokinin (NK)1 antagonist, improved antiemetic control in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) who were receiving oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy, according to Junichi Nishimura, MD, Assistant Professor, Osaka University, Japan.
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Barcelona, Spain—The first randomized study prospectively investigating the efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) added to standard systemic treatment in patients with unresectable colo­rectal cancer (CRC) liver metastases revealed progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) benefits, according to Theo J.M. Ruers, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis, Amsterdam.
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Barcelona, Spain—In the REACH trial evaluating ramucirumab (Cyramza) as second-line treatment in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma after first-line therapy with sorafenib (Nexavar), overall survival (OS) was improved in the subgroup population with baseline α-fetoprotein of ?400 ng/mL (Child-Pugh class A). The OS benefits in the overall population (Child-Pugh classes A and B) did not reach significance, said lead investigator Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston.
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