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Treatment Costs Can Be Another Blow to Cancer Patients

Posted 27 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 27, 2017 – The emotional and physical costs of cancer can be staggering. But the financial side of cancer is also a great burden, with many patients in the United States struggling to pay for treatment, new research reveals. "The current health law has greatly improved access to meaningful health coverage for cancer patients, survivors and all those with chronic diseases," Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a network news release. "Yet costs remain a challenge for those facing cancer. Our country and our lawmakers should come together to find bipartisan solutions that begin to address patient costs without sacrificing the quality of coverage," he urged. Researchers surveyed financial navigators at 11 hospitals in nine states. Financial navigators – typically trained social workers or nurses – help cancer patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Letrozole, Tarceva, Megestrol

More Patients OK'd for Cancer Trials Under Obamacare: Study

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – The Affordable Care Act has enabled more privately insured patients to enroll in clinical trials for new cancer treatments, a new study contends. Speedy approvals are important for patients who want to participate in clinical trials, said study author Dr. David Hong. He's deputy chair of investigational cancer therapeutics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Since 2000, Medicare, the publicly funded insurance program for seniors, has covered routine costs of clinical trial participation. But coverage for patients with private insurance differed by insurer and state, the researchers noted. Under the ACA, or Obamacare, however, private insurers had to cover "standard of care" costs of clinical trial participation as of 2014. For this study, the researchers analyzed more than 2,400 patient referrals to the Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy at ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Votrient, Tarceva, Avastin, Tasigna, Pancreatic Cancer, Sutent, Sprycel, Afinitor, Nexavar, Stomach Cancer, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cyclophosphamide

Publicly Funded Cancer Trials Gained Americans 3 Million More Years

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Public-funded trials have significantly extended the lives of people diagnosed with cancer, according to new research. SWOG, the clinical trials network funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), has involved more than 200,000 patient volunteers. These trials have led to approval of 14 new cancer drugs and more than 100 changes to cancer care standards. All told, the clinical trials studied extended life by 3.34 million years, the study found. SWOG estimates the dollar return on investment from federal funding at $125 for each year of life gained. "A lot of people with cancer have lived longer because of the therapies tested in our publicly funded trials," study leader Joseph Unger said in a SWOG news release. He is an assistant member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Cancer Prevention Program in Seattle. "At the same time, the cost of ... Read more

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

Cancer's Heavy Financial Burden

Posted 8 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 – Many cancer patients can't afford to see their doctor or take the medications they've been prescribed, a new study finds. And the problem will likely only get worse as the cost of cancer treatments continues to rise, the study authors said. "You can prescribe the best drug in the world, but if patients can't afford it and they can't get it, then it won't be effective," said study author Dr. Greg Knight. He is chief fellow with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's division of hematology and oncology. "We saw a significant portion of patients in our study who were stretching their prescriptions or not coming to the doctor's office," Knight said in a university news release. The researchers reviewed survey results from nearly 2,000 patients at the N.C. Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C. The participants were all 18 and older, and had been ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Votrient, Brain Tumor, Tarceva, Melanoma, Avastin, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Tasigna, Sutent, Endometrial Cancer, Sprycel, Afinitor, Herceptin, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced

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, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Rituxan, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer, Votrient

'Precision' Cancer Treatment May Extend Lives

Posted 20 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – "Precision" cancer treatment that's guided by genetic clues from the patient's own tumor appears to outperform traditional chemotherapy, a new research review finds. Patients given precision – or personalized – treatment experienced a tumor shrinkage rate six times that attained by regular chemotherapy. But, that only happened if doctors used genetic information to choose the appropriate targeted therapy, said lead researcher Maria Schwaederle. Those patients also experienced nearly double the length of time before their cancer resumed growing, according to the analysis of nearly 350 clinical trials. "It is not just that the therapies are better, but that targeted therapies must be given to the right patients," said Schwaederle, who's with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. She will present ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer, Claravis, Tarceva, Skin Cancer, Xeloda, BCG, Tasigna, Revlimid, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Zytiga

Tumor Location Affects Colon Cancer Survival: Study

Posted 19 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2016 – Your survival odds against colon cancer may depend on which side of your colon the tumor develops, new research contends. In a study of more than 1,000 men and women with colon cancer that had spread, those whose tumor was on the left side survived just over 33 months, while those whose tumor was on the right side survived only slightly more than 19 months. "It's a stunning and surprising finding, and the difference is dramatic," said lead researcher Dr. Alan Venook, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. It appears that colon cancer that begins on the right side is different from colon cancer that begins on the left side, he said. "We thought of the colon as a tube that propelled stool out of the body, but it's not that simple," Venook said. "Each side of the colon starts in a different place, which is why the cancers are ... Read more

Related support groups: Colonoscopy, Colorectal Cancer, Avastin, Erbitux, Bevacizumab, Cetuximab, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

Elderly With Advanced Colon Cancer Often Get Costly, Dubious Treatments: Study

Posted 10 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 10, 2016 – Expensive drugs are being given far more often to elderly patients with advanced colon cancer, but they offer almost no benefit, a new study suggests. "This research found that there is a trend for elderly late-stage colorectal cancer patients to receive newer, more expensive drugs," said lead author Cathy Bradley, associate director for population science research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. "However, in spite of their receiving more drugs, no [significant] survival benefit was observed." In the study, published recently in the journal Medical Care, Bradley and her colleagues analyzed data on more than 16,000 Medicare patients with advanced, or metastatic, colon cancer and 4,000 patients with advanced rectal cancer. (Metastatic means the cancer has spread from the original tumor to other parts of the body.) They discovered that among ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Avastin, Erbitux, Oxaliplatin, Leucovorin, Eloxatin, Vectibix, Wellcovorin

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, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Rituxan, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Isotretinoin

Drugs Show Promise for Some Advanced Lung Cancers

Posted 29 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2015 – Two experimental drugs may help patients whose lung cancer has become resistant to the latest available treatments, separate studies say. Both drugs showed benefits for patients with advanced lung cancer who develop a particular mutation that makes their tumors resistant to recently approved drugs called EGFR inhibitors. Currently, little can be done for those patients aside from chemotherapy. "And those chemotherapy agents don't do a great job," said Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan, an oncologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The two drugs are not "magic bullets," said Govindan, who wrote an editorial published with the studies in the April 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. "But in the long struggle against lung cancer, this is a significant step," Govindan said. Among all people who develop non-small-cell lung cancer – by ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Erbitux, Iressa, Erlotinib, Tykerb, Gefitinib, Gilotrif, Vandetanib, Afatinib, Vectibix, Lapatinib, Cetuximab, Panitumumab, Caprelsa

Vitamin D May Boost Colon Cancer Survival, Study Finds

Posted 12 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 – Higher vitamin D levels in patients with advanced colon cancer appear to improve response to chemotherapy and targeted anti-cancer drugs, researchers say. "We found that patients who had vitamin D levels at the highest category had improved survival and improved progression-free survival, compared with patients in the lowest category," said lead author Dr. Kimmie Ng, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Those patients survived one-third longer than patients with low levels of vitamin D – an average 32.6 months, compared with 24.5 months, the researchers found. The report, scheduled for presentation this week at the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, adds more weight to suspicions that vitamin D might be a valuable cancer-fighting supplement. However, colon cancer patients shouldn't try to boost vitamin D ... Read more

Related support groups: Colorectal Cancer, Avastin, Erbitux, Bevacizumab, Cetuximab

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

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, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Accutane, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Rituxan, Gleevec, Isotretinoin, Votrient, Claravis, Anastrozole, Letrozole

New Test Helps Evaluate Cancer Drug's Merit

Posted 9 Jul 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 9 – A new genetic test to help doctors determine if the drug Erbitux would be an effective treatment for certain colorectal cancer patients has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The KRAS RGQ PCR kit checks for the presence of a certain mutation in the KRAS gene. About 40 percent of people with colon cancer are thought to have the mutation, which leaves Erbitux ineffective. The test is for people whose colorectal cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the FDA said in a news release. The American Cancer Society says more than 141,000 new cases of colon cancer were diagnosed last year in the United States, and nearly 50,000 people died of the disease. Erbitux (cetuximab), co-marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, was first approved as a colon cancer treatment in 2004. The new diagnostic was developed by Qiagen Manchester Ltd., based in ... Read more

Related support groups: Colorectal Cancer, Erbitux, Cetuximab

FDA Approves Genetic Test to Help Some Colon Cancer Patients, Physicians Considering Erbitux Therapy

Posted 6 Jul 2012 by Drugs.com

July 6, 2012 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first genetic test that can help some colorectal cancer (CRC) patients and their doctors determine if the drug Erbitux (cetuximab) would be an effective treatment based on the absence of a gene mutation. The therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR Kit can provide information about the KRAS gene mutation in patients whose CRC has spread to other parts of their body (metastasized). Studies have found that Eribitux is not effective in those who have the mutation. CRC is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, there were more than 141,000 new CRC cases in 2011, and nearly 50,000 deaths resulted from CRC. Erbitux targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on the surface of CRC cells. When certain chemicals in the body bind to EGFR, the receptor starts a ... Read more

Related support groups: Colorectal Cancer, Erbitux, Cetuximab

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