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Steep Rise in Price of Older Cancer Drugs

Posted 6 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 – Many older cancer drugs took a bigger bite out of Medicare and older Americans' wallets last year than five years earlier, a new analysis finds. After adjusting for inflation, nearly two-thirds of 86 cancer medicines in the study had price increases between 2010 and 2015, researchers reported. Eleven drugs more than doubled in price, and older drugs increased more than newer drugs, the study found. The study included oral and intravenous chemotherapy drugs covered by Medicare Part B. Medicare is the federal health insurance plan for people 65 or older. "Higher costs lead to higher copays," said study co-author Dr. Sham Mailankody. He's a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. "And empiric research suggests higher copays lead to treatment delays or discontinuation," he added. Patients with Medicare Part B coverage are ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, EpiPen, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Daraprim, Neosar, Cytoxan Lyophilized

Genmab Announces U.S. FDA Approval of Arzerra (ofatumumab) in Combination with Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide for Relapsed CLL

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

Copenhagen, Denmark; August 31, 2016 — Genmab A/S (Nasdaq Copenhagen: GEN) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for the use of ofatumumab (Arzerra®) in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC) for the treatment of patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The application, which received Priority Review in May 2016, was submitted to the FDA by Novartis under the ofatumumab collaboration between Novartis and Genmab. Approval for this indication by the FDA is based on results from the Phase III COMPLEMENT 2 study that evaluated ofatumumab in combination with FC versus FC alone in patients with relapsed CLL. Top-line results from COMPLEMENT 2 were reported in April 2015. "This is the fourth CLL indication approved in the U.S. for Arzerra, and we are pleased to see the a ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Cyclophosphamide, Arzerra, Fludarabine, Ofatumumab

U.S. Pays Highest Prices for Cancer Meds: Study

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – The United States pays the highest prices in the world for generic and brand-name cancer drugs, a new study has found. However, as the world's wealthiest nation, the United States is better able to pay for those pricey drugs than poorer countries with somewhat lower medication prices, added study lead author Dr. Daniel Goldstein. People in China and India are much less able to afford cancer drugs than Americans, he said, even though U.S. monthly drug prices are about three to six times higher in the United States. That doesn't mean America came out on top in overall drug affordability, however. Developed nations such as Australia, England and Israel had the "best deal" in the world on cancer drugs, thanks to government programs that regulate drug pricing, the study found. "America is the wealthiest nation, but its drug prices are significantly higher – so much ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis

HIV Patients Less Likely to Get Treatment for Cancer: Study

Posted 17 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 17, 2016 – While powerful HIV medications are granting longer lives to many people infected with the virus, a new U.S. study shows these same patients are less likely to get treatment for cancer if it develops. It's not clear why the difference exists. It could reflect the decisions of physicians, patients or both. Whatever the case, the finding confirms that the gap persists even when patients have private insurance or are otherwise healthy, the study authors said. Previous research has suggested that "people with well-controlled HIV infection should be treated similarly to patients without HIV," said study author Dr. Gita Suneja. However, "even looking at cancer patients with private health insurance only, we saw that those with HIV infection were less likely to receive cancer treatment for many common cancer types," said Suneja. She is an assistant professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, HIV Infection, Fluorouracil, Lung Cancer, Xeloda, Hydroxyurea, Mercaptopurine, Hydrea, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Temodar, Cyclophosphamide, Dacogen, Bendamustine, Treanda, Oxaliplatin, Gemcitabine, Gemzar

Could Talk Therapy Ease Chemo-Related Memory Issues?

Posted 2 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – A type of psychotherapy might help cancer survivors deal with the long-term thinking problems some experience after chemotherapy, researchers say. It's estimated that about half of those who undergo chemotherapy for cancer develop what's often called "chemo brain." For instance, they may have trouble following conversations or remembering the steps in a project, according to background notes with the new study. Although usually mild, these changes can affect quality of life, job performance and relationships, said the researchers from the Eastern Maine Medical Center and Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Bangor, Maine. The researchers developed a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) program called Memory and Attention Adaptation Training to help cancer survivors prevent or manage these memory problems. Their study involved 47 breast cancer survivors who underwent ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Fluorouracil, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Xeloda, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Tasigna, Endometrial Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Hydroxyurea

Study Suggests Causes for Lupus' Impact on Immune System

Posted 8 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 8, 2016 – Scientists have found new clues that help explain what's going wrong in the immune systems of people with lupus – insight they hope will lead to new therapies, or help guide current treatment choices. Lupus has several forms, but the most common is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In SLE, the immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against the body's own tissue. The onslaught can have widespread effects, damaging the skin, joints, heart, lungs, kidneys and brain, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. The disease mostly strikes women, usually starting in their 20s or 30s, the foundation says. In the new study, the researchers found evidence that in people with lupus, some of the immune system's "B cells" mature the wrong way – so that they promote inflammation instead of fighting it. The findings, published online March 8 in the journal ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Plaquenil, Hydroxychloroquine, Rituxan, Prograf, Rituximab, Tacrolimus, Lupus Erythematosus, Protopic, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Envarsus XR, Neosar, Plaquenil Sulfate, Hecoria, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Quineprox, Astagraf XL

Fewer Childhood Cancer Survivors Dying From 'Late' Effects

Posted 13 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2016 – Fewer childhood cancer survivors are dying years later from lingering effects of the treatment that conquered their cancer, a new study finds. Experts called the report, published in the Jan. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, "very good news." "The findings substantiate what experts in the field have hoped would be true," said lead researcher Dr. Gregory Armstrong, of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tenn. Survival rates from many childhood cancers are high, but survivors still face what doctors call "late effects" – health problems that develop months to years after the cancer treatment has ended. Among U.S. children who survived cancer back in the 1970s and '80s, 18 percent died within the next 25 years, Armstrong said. Sometimes, the initial cancer comes back. Often though, the health issues are related to the very ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Fluorouracil, Xeloda, Hydroxyurea, Mercaptopurine, Hydrea, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Dacogen, Cyclophosphamide, Temodar, Bendamustine, Oxaliplatin, Treanda, Gemcitabine, Capecitabine, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Childhood Cancer Treatment May Raise Adult Heart Disease Risk

Posted 5 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 4, 2016 – Children who survive cancer may face a higher risk of heart disease as adults, new research suggests. The lingering effects of the treatments that saved their lives as children may trigger the development of heart abnormalities that might not cause apparent symptoms, the researchers explained. The investigators found that heart disease appears to affect between 3 percent and 24 percent of pediatric cancer survivors by the time they reach their 30s. Those figures rose to between 10 and 37 percent among patients 40 and older, the study found. However, while the study revealed a link between childhood cancer treatment and later heart disease, it didn't prove cause-and-effect. "The prevalence of these cardiac findings might be expected in an older adult population, but not necessarily in this young a population," said study lead author Dr. Daniel Mulrooney. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Heart Disease, Methotrexate, Fluorouracil, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Xeloda, Cardiomyopathy, Hydroxyurea, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Mercaptopurine, Hydrea, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Temodar, Dacogen, Cyclophosphamide, Bendamustine, Oxaliplatin, Treanda

Researchers Focus on Risk Factors for Leukemia After Breast Cancer Treatment

Posted 7 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 – Researchers say they're zeroing in on factors that may increase the risk of leukemia after breast cancer treatment. The findings are a step forward in determining ways to prevent this complication in breast cancer survivors. While the breast cancer treatments target malignant cells, they can also affect healthy cells and could increase the risk of leukemia later, the researchers said. The scientists looked at 88 breast cancer survivors with treatment-related leukemia and found that many had a personal and family history of cancer, suggesting a genetic susceptibility to cancer. Also, 20 percent of the women had an inherited gene mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer, according to the study published Dec. 7 in the journal Cancer. "The findings justify a long-term, follow-up study of women with and without inherited breast cancer gene mutations who are ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Leukemia, Femara, Lupron Depot, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Evista, Zoladex, Megestrol, Letrozole, Megace, Aromasin, Herceptin, Exemestane

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on change.org that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Femara, Lupron Depot, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Isotretinoin

Drug Combo Helps Lupus-Related Kidney Condition

Posted 10 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 10, 2014 – A combination of drugs may offer a better way to combat a serious kidney complication that commonly affects people with lupus, a new study from China suggests. In a trial of more than 300 Chinese patients with the condition, known as lupus nephritis, those who were given a trio of powerful drugs were more likely to see a complete remission. After six months, 46 percent were in full remission, versus 26 percent of patients given an intravenous drug called cyclophosphamide. "These are important results," said Dr. David Wofsy, a rheumatologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study. But there are some big questions that still need to be answered, he added. One is whether lupus patients of other races and ethnicities would get the same benefits as these Chinese patients. The genetics of lupus vary, Wofsy explained, and ... Read more

Related support groups: CellCept, Lupus Erythematosus, Mycophenolate Mofetil, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Neosar

Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Amoxicillin, Metronidazole, Doxycycline, Cephalexin, Clindamycin, Penicillin, Bactrim, Methotrexate, Azithromycin, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Augmentin, Levaquin, Lupron, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

Kidney Damage a Risk of Some Childhood Cancer Treatments, Finds Study

Posted 24 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 24 – Some adult survivors of childhood cancer are at increased risk for kidney problems, a new study says. The study included more than 1,100 adults, aged 18 and older, who were followed for five to 42 years after being diagnosed and treated for childhood cancer. The researchers examined the long-term effects of kidney-damaging treatments, including the chemotherapy drugs ifosfamide, cisplatin, carboplatin, high-dose methotrexate and high-dose cyclophosphamide; radiation therapy to the kidney region; and partial or complete surgical removal of the kidney (nephrectomy). Compared with patients who did not receive kidney-damaging treatments, those who were treated with ifosfamide or cisplatin and those who underwent nephrectomy had poorer kidney function, which persisted throughout the follow-up period. The researchers also found that patients treated with high doses of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Renal Failure, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Platinol, Trexall, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Ifex, Neosar, Platinol-AQ, Folex PFS, Paraplatin, Ifosfamide, Carboplatin Novaplus, Rheumatrex Dose Pack

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis, Votrient, Anastrozole, Avastin

No Evidence That Lupus Drugs Lead to Cancer, Says Study

Posted 4 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 4 – Drugs used to treat the autoimmune disease lupus do not significantly increase patients' risk of the blood cancer lymphoma, a new study says. The findings should help reduce widely held fears about a link between lupus medication and lymphoma, said the researchers at McGill University in Montreal. In people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the immune system attacks healthy tissue such as the skin, joints, kidneys and the brain. Medications to suppress the immune system are used to treat lupus, but previous research has suggested that this may put patients at increased risk for lymphoma. Because of fears about developing cancer, some lupus patients are reluctant to take their medication, and others stop taking it. This international study included 75 lupus patients who had lymphoma and nearly 5,000 cancer-free lupus patients. Researchers looked at most of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Neosar, Cytoxan Lyophilized

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