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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, Avastin, Tarceva, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Tasigna, Sutent, Ovarian Cancer, 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, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis

'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, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin, Claravis, Tarceva, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, BCG, Revlimid, Tasigna, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Zytiga

Additional Treatments Offer Little Benefit for Pancreatic Cancer: Study

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 3, 2016 – Additional treatments for locally advanced pancreatic cancer don't appear to boost survival, a new French study reports. Researchers looked at the effects of adding a second drug – erlotinib (Tarceva) – to the initial round of chemotherapy. They also tested whether adding radiation to a second round of chemotherapy (chemoradiotherapy) would offer any survival benefit. Unfortunately, the addition of the second drug didn't help people live longer, and those on chemoradiotherapy didn't fare any better. "Chemoradiotherapy was not superior to chemotherapy," said the study's senior author, Dr. Pascal Hammel. Hammel is from the department of gastroenterology-pancreatology at Beaujon Hospital, in Clichy, France. The study was funded by the pharmaceutical company Roche, the maker of Tarceva, and the French National Institute of Cancer. More than 53,000 Americans are ... Read more

Related support groups: Tarceva, Pancreatic Cancer, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Erlotinib, History - Radiation Therapy

Could a Lung Cancer Drug Work Better With Coke?

Posted 13 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 – Patients with the leading form of lung cancer may be able to look to Coca-Cola Classic to solve a common medicinal challenge, new research suggests. As the Dutch scientists explain it, the effectiveness of the powerful lung cancer drug Tarceva (erlotinib) depends on the pH level of the stomach. But many people on Tarceva must also take a proton pump inhibitor heartburn medication – such as Nexium or Prilosec – which raises stomach pH to more alkaline levels. That higher pH can lower the absorption rate for Tarceva, cutting its effectiveness in fighting non-small-cell lung cancer, research suggests. One prior study involving healthy volunteers found the use of Prilosec lowered blood concentrations of Tarceva by 61 percent. What to do? In the new study, researchers led by Dr. Roelof van Leeuwen, of Erasmus MC Cancer Institute in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, ... Read more

Related support groups: Omeprazole, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, Pantoprazole, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Tasigna, Sprycel, Esomeprazole, Prilosec OTC, Iressa, Dasatinib, Erlotinib, Nilotinib, Gefitinib, Protonix IV, Nexium 24HR, Nexium IV, Omesec

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, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Rituxan

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, Gefitinib, Tykerb, Vandetanib, Afatinib, Vectibix, Gilotrif, Cetuximab, Panitumumab, Lapatinib, Caprelsa

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, Methotrexate, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Augmentin, Levaquin, Lupron, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

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

Is Cancer Outwitting 'Personalized Medicine'?

Posted 7 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 7 – The genetic makeup of cancer cells differs significantly from region to region within a single tumor, according to new research that raises questions about the true potential of personalized cancer medicine. With this treatment approach, doctors study a tumor's genetic makeup to determine which drugs would work best in a particular patient. But if the genetic mutations driving the cancer cells vary widely, a single tissue sample won't necessarily give the full picture. This "targeted therapy" involves "sticking a needle into the primary tumor site and taking a small sliver of a tumor, doing a gene analysis, and creating a genetic profile of the tumor to predict how the tumor will behave," explained Dr. Dan Longo, an oncologist and deputy editor at the New England Journal of Medicine. "What this paper tells us is that is an oversimplification of the complexity of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Herceptin, Erlotinib, Trastuzumab

Mixed News on Tough-to-Treat Lung Cancer

Posted 10 Jan 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 – Dutch researchers report disappointing results from an early clinical trial of the drug Nexavar (sorafenib) in fighting a tough-to-treat form of lung cancer. But, in better news, an experimental drug known as ganetespib showed promise in laboratory and animal experiments. The results of both studies were to be presented Tuesday at an American Association for Cancer Research/International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer meeting in San Diego. In recent years, researchers have made some headway in finding treatments to combat lung cancer, which often doesn't respond well to chemotherapy, explained Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. Those treatments include drugs such as crizotinib (Xalkori) and erlotinib (Tarceva), which are most effective in tumors that contain certain genetic mutations. However, those drugs tend ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Nexavar, Xalkori, Erlotinib, Sorafenib, Crizotinib

Cancer Patients Should Ask Doctors to Use Simple Terms

Posted 28 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 – Cancer patients are often faced with many difficult-to-understand treatment choices that can have serious side effects and even mean the difference between life and death. That's why it's crucial that patients insist doctors use plain language in explaining the options, advised Angela Fagerlin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a researcher at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "People are making life and death decisions that may affect their survival and they need to know what they're getting themselves into. Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo," Fagerlin said in a university news release. She and her colleagues outlined a number of tips to help patients get the information they need ... Read more

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

Experimental Drug Bests Chemo in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Study

Posted 5 Jul 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 5 – A drug designed to treat certain patients with non-small cell lung cancer boosts survival time without progression of cancer by several months, according to a new study. The findings reveal that the drug, known as erlotinib (brand name Tarceva), doesn't just boost lifespan, said Dr. Neal E. Ready, associate professor of medical oncology at Duke Cancer Institute, who was not involved with the study. "What you really get is a prolonged period of time when the cancer is under control and someone has a really good quality of life." This study is the first of its kind to look at Western patients. "Although a growing body of evidence has been emerging about this type of lung cancer, almost all of the studies have been conducted in Asian patients, a group that historically has had significantly different results to [non-small cell lung cancer] therapy compared to Western ... Read more

Related support groups: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Erlotinib

Post-Chemo Treatment May Boost Lung Cancer Survival

Posted 20 May 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 20 – Among people with non-small-cell lung cancer, treatment with the drug erlotinib (Tarceva) after chemotherapy appears to slightly boost survival rates, a new study suggests. Non-small-cell lung cancer makes up about 85 percent of lung cancer cases. About half the time, people have advanced disease when diagnosed and are treated solely with chemotherapy, usually platinum-based chemo. But chemotherapy only boosts survival by eight to 10 months, the study authors noted. The study findings, which support the use of erlotinib as a "maintenance" treatment, are based on research by Dr. Federico Cappuzzo of the Civil Hospital of Livorno in Italy and his colleagues. The researchers tested the drug in 889 people who'd had chemotherapy and whose disease had not gotten worse. They were randomly assigned to take erlotinib an inactive placebo. According to the study, published ... Read more

Related support groups: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Erlotinib

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Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma

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Tarceva

Erlotinib Patient Information at Drugs.com