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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, Tarceva, Avastin, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Tasigna, Sutent, Sprycel, Ovarian Cancer, Afinitor, Endometrial Cancer, 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, Femara, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Rituxan, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin, Claravis

Cheaper Breast Cancer Drug Does Well in Clinical Trial

Posted 4 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 – For women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, a similar but less expensive experimental drug works just as well as the standard drug Herceptin (trastuzumab), a new study finds. HER2-positive tumors contain certain genes that are associated with more rapid tumor growth and a worse prognosis, according to the American Cancer Society. The new drug targeting these tumors is what's known as a biosimilar drug – in this case, a drug similar to Herceptin. Biosimilars are designed to mimic the brand-name medicine, and are expected to produce roughly the same results in patients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration explained. Researchers conducted a randomized phase III clinical trial of the biosimilar trastuzumab antibody drug MYL-1401O. Their trial included 500 patients. The trial was conducted at 95 sites in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The women ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Herceptin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Trastuzumab

'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, Herceptin

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, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Tasigna, Sprycel, Ovarian Cancer, Hydroxyurea

Drug Duo May Rapidly Shrink Breast Tumors in Some Patients

Posted 10 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 10, 2016 – A two-drug combo quickly shrinks certain breast cancer tumors before surgery or chemotherapy in some women, British researchers report. The specific breast cancer is called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive. The drug combination – lapatinib (Tykerb) and trastuzumab (Herceptin) – shrank HER2-positive tumors significantly in less than two weeks after diagnosis, the study authors said. In some cases, evidence of the cancers disappeared, the researchers added. "A combination of two anti-HER2 therapies – Tykerb and Herceptin – induce tumor regression or disappearance in 25 percent of HER2-positive cancers in 11 days," said lead researcher Dr. Nigel Bundred. He is a professor of surgical oncology at the University of Manchester in England. Potentially, women who respond to this treatment combination might be able to avoid chemotherapy, he ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Herceptin, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Tykerb, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Trastuzumab, Lapatinib

Early Chemo Less Likely to Help Black Breast Cancer Patients: Study

Posted 12 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 – Early chemotherapy is less likely to benefit black women with breast cancer than those in other racial and ethnic groups, a new study finds. Advanced breast cancer is more common among black, Hispanic and Asian women than it is in white women. As a result, black women often receive chemotherapy before surgery in an effort to improve their outcomes, the Yale University Cancer Center researchers said. But their study of 27,300 women with stage 1 to 3 breast cancer showed that early (neoadjuvant) chemotherapy was less effective in black patients than in other women. "Even when we controlled for the fact that minority women often present with more advanced-stage, higher-grade tumors, and more aggressive types of breast cancer overall, our team was surprised to find that black women did not respond as well to neoadjuvant chemotherapy compared to other racial groups," ... Read more

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

Two Drugs Equal in Preventing Early Breast Cancer's Return: Study

Posted 11 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 – Postmenopausal women who have an early, noninvasive form of breast cancer had similar recurrence rates of disease whether they took the drug tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole after surgery, new research shows. However, the side effects of the two medications differed greatly, said study author Jack Cuzick, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, England. His team looked at nearly 3,000 women, all past menopause, who had hormone-receptor positive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer and underwent surgery to excise it. With DCIS, the cells that line the milk ducts have changed but not spread into the surrounding breast tissue. Half the women were randomly assigned to take 1 milligram (mg) a day of anastrozole (Arimidex), while the other half took 20 mg a day of tamoxifen (Nolvadex). Each ... Read more

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

Timing May Be Key to Success of Surgery, Chemo for Early Breast Cancer

Posted 10 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2015 – The sooner early stage breast cancer patients have surgery following their diagnosis, and chemotherapy after their surgery, the better their chances of survival, two new studies find. In one study, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia analyzed data from more than 94,500 American women aged 66 and older. All were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1992 and 2009. The team, led by Dr. Richard Bleicher, found a 9 percent increased risk of death from all causes for each 30-day delay in the time from diagnosis to surgery. The link between time to surgery and risk of death from all causes was only statistically significant for patients with earlier stages of cancer, the researchers noted. In the study, delays seemed to affect prognosis for patients with stage 1 and stage 2 cancers, but not for those with stage 3 cancers. The findings were similar ... Read more

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

Cooling Cap to Reduce Chemo-Linked Hair Loss OK'd

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – The Dignitana Cooling System cap has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help prevent hair loss in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. A computer-controlled system circulates cooled liquid to the cap during chemotherapy. This is designed to constrict blood vessels in the scalp, limiting the amount of chemotherapy drugs that reach the hair follicles, the agency said in a news release. In clinical testing, more than two-thirds of women who wore the cap reported losing less than half of their hair. And the likelihood of chemotherapy drugs missing an isolated cluster of breast cancer cells in the scalp because of the cap was "extremely rare," the FDA said. But since the cap doesn't work with all chemotherapy drugs, any woman interested in using the product should speak with her doctor, the FDA advised. The most common side ... Read more

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

Drugs May Protect the Heart During Chemotherapy

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – Two kinds of medications can prevent heart damage in breast cancer patients as they undergo chemotherapy, a new study suggests. Chemotherapy improves survival among women with early-stage breast cancer, but can dramatically increase their risk of heart failure, the researchers explained. This five-year study of 100 early-stage breast cancer patients in Canada found that two kinds of heart medicines – beta blockers and ACE inhibitors – seem to protect the heart during chemotherapy. "We think this is practice-changing. This will improve the safety of the cancer treatment that we provide," study co-investigator Edith Pituskin, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing and Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Canada, said in a university news release. The heart medications not only protect the heart, but may also improve ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Provera, Depo-Provera, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Breast Cancer, Propranolol, Lupron, Heart Failure, Bystolic, Congestive Heart Failure, Carvedilol, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Ramipril, Bisoprolol, Arimidex, Coreg, Femara, Lupron Depot

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, Zoladex, Evista, Megestrol, Megace, Letrozole, Aromasin, Herceptin, Casodex

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

Herceptin May Benefit Some Women With Early Breast Cancer

Posted 8 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 – For some women with early breast tumors, lower-dose chemotherapy and the drug Herceptin may help ward off a cancer recurrence, a new study suggests. Experts said the findings, published in the Jan. 8 New England Journal of Medicine, could offer the first standard treatment approach for women in the early stages of HER2-positive breast cancer. HER2 is a protein that helps breast cancer cells grow and spread, and about 15 to 20 percent of breast cancers are HER2-positive, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Herceptin (trastuzumab) – one of the newer, so-called "targeted" cancer drugs – inhibits HER2. But while Herceptin is a standard treatment for later-stage cancer, it wasn't clear whether it helps women with small, stage 1 breast tumors that have not spread to the lymph nodes. Women with those cancers have a relatively low risk of recurrence ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Herceptin, Trastuzumab

Herceptin Boosts Survival for Breast Cancer, Study Reports

Posted 20 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 20, 2014 – Adding the drug Herceptin to chemotherapy for certain breast cancer patients increases overall survival and reduces the risk of recurrence compared to chemotherapy alone, new research shows. The study found that adding a year of Herceptin (trastuzumab) to standard chemotherapy improved overall survival by 37 percent. The addition of Herceptin also boosted 10-year overall survival rates from 75 percent to 84 percent. And the 10-year disease-free survival rate went from 62 percent to 74 percent for those also taking Herceptin, the study found. The women who were given Herceptin were patients with a type of breast cancer known as HER2-positive, said study author Dr. Edith Perez at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. Up to 20 percent of invasive breast cancers are HER2-positive, according to background information in the study. Too much human epidermal growth ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Herceptin, Trastuzumab

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