Value-Based Cancer Care Web Exclusives

November 2017

Actemra First FDA-Approved Treatment for CAR T-Cell–Induced Severe Cytokine Release Syndrome

FDA Approvals, News & Updates

In association with the approval of the first chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, on August 30, 2017, the FDA also accelerated the approval of a new indication as an orphan drug for toci­lizumab (Actemra; Genentech), a humanized interleukin-6 receptor antagonist, for the treatment of patients aged ≥2 years with CAR T-cell–induced severe or life-threatening cytokine release syndrome (CRS). [ Read More ]

Kymriah First Gene Therapy Approved by the FDA, Indicated for Young Patients with B-Cell ALL and CD19

FDA Approvals, News & Updates

On August 30, 2017, the FDA approved tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah; Novartis Pharmaceuticals), a genetically modified chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy, for the treatment of pediatric patients and young adults aged ≤25 years with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Tisagenlecleucel is the first gene therapy ever to receive FDA approval, ushering in a new type of immunotherapy for patients with cancer. This is the first drug that uses the patient’s own T-cells, which are being genetically modified, to be targeted against leukemia cells that have CD19 antigens on their surface. The modified immune CAR T-cells are then infused back into the patient to fight the cancer cells.  [ Read More ]

Besponsa a New Treatment Option for Patients with Relapsed/Refractory B-Cell ALL

FDA Approvals, News & Updates

On August 17, 2017, the FDA approved inotuzumab ozogamicin (Besponsa; Pfi­zer), a targeted therapy, for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The drug blocks cancer growth by binding to B-cell ALL cells that express CD22. The FDA designated inotuzumab ozogamicin as an orphan drug and applied its priority review for this approval. [ Read More ]

Reducing Disparities in Survivorship Care

Chase Doyle


Surviving cancer is the start of a new journey for many individuals. Cancer survivors face a multitude of challenges, including the prevention of new and recurrent cancers; interventions for illnesses secondary to cancer and its treatment; concerns about employment, insurance, and disability; and coordination between specialists and primary care providers. These challenges are compounded by the need to ensure appropriate, culturally sensitive delivery of care to vulnerable patient populations, said Margaret Q. Rosenzweig, PhD, FNP-BC, AOCNP, FAAN, Professor of Acute and Tertiary Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, PA, at the 2017 Cancer Survivorship Symposium. [ Read More ]

Extended Follow-Up Confirms Survival Benefit with Pembrolizumab in Urothelial Cancer

Charles Bankhead


Chicago, IL—Treatment with the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) significantly prolonged overall survival (OS) compared with chemotherapy in patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma that progressed during or after first-line chemotherapy, said Dean F. Bajorin, MD, FACP, FASCO, Medical Oncologist and Frederick R. Adler Senior Faculty Chair, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting. [ Read More ]

When Does Immunotherapy Work Best in Lung Cancer?

Wayne Kuznar

Immunotherapy, Lung Cancer

Chicago, IL—Response to immunotherapy in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) differs depending on the driver mutation involved and on the amount of PD-L1 expression within the tumor. Immune checkpoint inhibitors in NSCLC—PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors—have similar efficacy and adverse event profiles. These were among the topics discussed at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting in a session on immunotherapy and lung cancer. [ Read More ]

Input from Patients, Families, and Caregivers Can Enhance the Quality of Patient Care

Meg Barbor, MPH

Quality Care

Orlando, FL—Establishing a Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality (PFACQ) is one of the most direct routes to true patient-centered care, said Kate Niehaus, MBA, Chair, PFACQ, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York City, at the 2017 ASCO Quality Care Symposium. Ms Niehaus discussed how PFACQs can be used as a mechanism for the patient’s voice. [ Read More ]

Integrating Patient-Reported Outcomes into Clinical Practice in Oncology

Meg Barbor, MPH

Quality Care

Orlando, FL—The term “patient-reported outcome” has become ubiquitous in cancer care. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are still in the early stages of being integrated into quality assessment programs and routine clinical practice, but engaging patients through PROs can be an invaluable tool for assessing and improving the quality of symptom management, said Ethan M. Basch, MD, MSc, FASCO, Director, Cancer Outcomes Research Program, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at the 2017 ASCO Quality Care Symposium. [ Read More ]