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Do Rising Cancer Drug Prices Warrant Regulation?

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2017 – Cancer drug prices in the United States keep rising steadily, a new study says. "Regardless of competition or supplemental indications, our study found that there is a steady increase in costs of patented anticancer drugs over time," wrote the researchers. They included Dan Greenberg, an associate professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. "We believe that new regulations may be needed to prevent additional increases in drug costs after launch, especially since Medicare is legally prohibited from negotiating drug prices," the researchers said in a university news release. Greenberg and his research team from Israel and the United States monitored monthly prices of 24 injectable, patented cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 1996 and 2012. Prices were tracked for eight years on average. After adjusting for ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Fluorouracil, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Tasigna, Xeloda, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Herceptin, Erivedge, Mercaptopurine, Hydrea, Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Cytoxan, Bendamustine, Capecitabine, Temodar, Cyclophosphamide

Speed Up the 'Cancer Moonshot,' Doctors Urge

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2017 – The Cancer Moonshot Initiative now has a detailed road map designed to cram a decade's worth of medical advancement into half that time. A new report, authored by more than 50 leading U.S. cancer doctors, highlights 13 priority areas for improving the medical response to cancer, along with measurable goals and a specific timeline for meeting each of those objectives. The plan is intended to help "accelerate existing progress so that we deliver in five years what would have historically taken 10," said Dr. Cliff Hudis, chief executive officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and co-author of the report. It was created by The Lancet Oncology Commission on Future Research Priorities in the USA. In late 2016, Congress appropriated $1.8 billion for cancer research funding over the next seven years for the so-called Cancer Moonshot, said commission ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Fluorouracil, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Tasigna, Xeloda, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Herceptin, Mercaptopurine, Cervical Cancer, Hydrea, Cisplatin, Carboplatin

Many Cancer Patients Skimp on Treatment Due to Cost

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 – The high cost of cancer care in the United States has led more than one-quarter of patients to cut back on some part of their treatment, a new survey reveals. Commissioned by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the report found that 27 percent of cancer survivors or close relatives of a cancer patient said they'd skipped doctor visits or taken other steps to reduce health costs. To save money, nearly one in 10 said they had avoided doctor appointments. Eight percent had refused treatment; postponed filling or not filled prescriptions; or skipped doses of prescribed medications. And 7 percent said they had cut pills in half, according to the survey of more than 4,000 adults. Such measures can jeopardize treatment success, ASCO says. "We should all be alarmed that Americans are potentially risking not only their health, but also their lives, due to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Fluorouracil, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Votrient, Letrozole, Tarceva

Cooling Mitts, Socks May Ease a Major Chemo Side Effect

Posted 18 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18, 2017 – Many cancer drugs can cause debilitating nerve damage as a side effect. But a small study suggests that simple cold wraps to the hands and feet might prevent it. The side effect, known as peripheral neuropathy, damages nerves in the limbs. This often leads to pain, numbness and tingling, and difficulty with balance and using the hands and fingers. There are treatments for peripheral neuropathy, according to the American Cancer Society. But there are no proven ways to prevent it. In the new study, researchers tested a simple tactic: having patients wear frozen gloves and socks during chemotherapy. With that protection in place, patients were much less likely to develop symptoms of nerve damage, the study found. Medical experts said there are reasons to be excited about the findings. For one, the therapy is "easy and safe," said study leader Akiko Hanai, an ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Peripheral Neuropathy, Taxol, Taxotere, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Carboplatin, Bendamustine, Temodar, Cyclophosphamide, Oxaliplatin, Paclitaxel, Treanda, Vincristine, Leukeran, Vinblastine, Docetaxel, Platinol, Neosar, Eloxatin

Alternative Medicine Alone as Cancer Treatment Linked to Lowered Survival

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 – People who choose alternative medicine over traditional cancer treatments for curable cancers have a higher risk of dying early, researchers report. "We now have evidence to suggest that using alternative medicine in place of proven cancer therapies results in worse survival," said study lead author Dr. Skyler Johnson from Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center. "It is our hope that this information can be used by patients and physicians when discussing the impact of cancer treatment decisions on survival," Johnson said in a school news release. Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, is likely the most famous person who initially chose alternative medicine as a sole treatment. He eventually turned back to conventional medicine when the alternative medicine treatment didn't keep his pancreatic cancer at bay. But at that point, the cancer had ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Xeloda, Pancreatic Cancer, Megestrol, Zoladex, Megace, Evista, Herceptin

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, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Letrozole, Skin Cancer, Tarceva

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, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Votrient, Tarceva, Tasigna, Avastin, Pancreatic Cancer, Sprycel, Sutent, Afinitor, Nexavar, Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Head and Neck Cancer, Cytoxan

Doctors' Group Offers Ideas for Easing Cancer Costs

Posted 19 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – New cancer drugs routinely cost $100,000 a year or more, and older cancer drugs are rising in price, too. Now, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has some suggestions for easing patients' money woes. The proposals include allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, legalizing the importation of drugs, and adopting bundled, or group, payment programs. In the new policy statement, ASCO also says it supports creation of a panel of "stakeholders" in health care to determine the effectiveness of its proposals. Such a group might also outline a uniform approach for assessing the value of drugs. "In what, undoubtedly, is one of the most difficult times in their lives, individuals with cancer should be focused on getting the best care possible, not worrying about financial strain on their families," said Dr. Clifford Hudis. He's CEO of ASCO, a leading ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Votrient, Letrozole

Childhood Chemo May Have Lasting Effects on Memory

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – Childhood cancer survivors who had chemotherapy may have certain types of thinking and memory problems as young adults, a small study suggests. Belgian researchers assessed 31 young adults who had undergone chemotherapy. They were at an average age of slightly over 6 when they had the treatment. The researchers compared them with a control group of young adults who hadn't received chemotherapy. Both groups had similar scores on tests of long-term memory and ability to concentrate. Those are skills that developed before the cancer survivors underwent chemotherapy, the researchers said. But compared to the control group, the cancer survivors had poorer thinking flexibility and short-term memory. These skills develop at a later age, the researchers explained. "Tests that require quick switching between tasks or remembering new information for a short amount of ... Read more

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

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, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Rituxan, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin

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, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Rituxan, Isotretinoin, Anastrozole

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, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Carboplatin, Bendamustine, Capecitabine, Temodar, Cyclophosphamide, Gemzar, Oxaliplatin, Dacogen, Gemcitabine

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, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Skin Cancer, Melanoma, Ovarian Cancer, Tasigna, Xeloda, Pancreatic Cancer, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Endometrial Cancer

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, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Carboplatin, Bendamustine, Capecitabine, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Cyclophosphamide, Temodar, Oxaliplatin, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Gemzar, Gemcitabine, Dacogen

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, Methotrexate, Heart Disease, Fluorouracil, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Xeloda, Cardiomyopathy, Hydroxyurea, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Mercaptopurine, Hydrea, Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Cytoxan, Bendamustine, Capecitabine, Temodar, Cyclophosphamide, Gemzar, Oxaliplatin

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