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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, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Votrient, Letrozole, Tarceva

FDA Approves Tablet Formulation of Lynparza (olaparib) for Maintenance Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Posted 21 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

August 17, 2017 – AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., (Merck: known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada) today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for the PARP inhibitor, Lynparza (olaparib), as follows: New use of Lynparza tablets as a maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent, epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy, regardless of BRCA status;1,2 New use of Lynparza tablets (2 tablets twice daily) as opposed to capsules (8 capsules twice daily);3 Lynparza tablets also now indicated (conversion from the current accelerated approval4) for the use in adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutated (gBRCA) advanced ovarian cancer, who have been treated with three or more prior lines of chemotherapy; patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Ovarian Cancer, Lynparza, Olaparib, Peritoneal Cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer

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, 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, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Votrient, Letrozole

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

Olaparib Helps Fight Breast Tumors Tied to 'Cancer Genes'

Posted 4 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, June 4, 2017 – A twice-daily pill could help some advanced breast cancer patients avoid or delay follow-up sessions of chemotherapy, a new clinical trial reports. The drug olaparib (Lynparza) reduced the chances of cancer progression by about 42 percent in women with breast cancer linked to BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, according to the study. Olaparib delayed cancer progression by about three months. The drug also caused tumors to shrink in three out of five patients who received the medication, the researchers reported. "Clearly the drug was more effective than traditional chemotherapy," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. "This is a group where a response is more difficult to obtain – a young group with a more aggressive form of cancer – and nonetheless we saw a close to 60 percent objective response rate," he said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Lynparza, Olaparib

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

'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, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer, Claravis, Skin Cancer, Tarceva, Xeloda, Tasigna, Revlimid, BCG, Zytiga, Sprycel, Herceptin

Ovarian Cancer Drug Shows Promise With Tough-to-Treat Prostate Tumors

Posted 28 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28, 2015 – In a small trial, a drug designed to fight inherited ovarian cancers in women appeared to help some men with advanced prostate cancer. Lynparza (olaparib) targets mutations that are found in about 30 percent of men with prostate cancer. But, it also seemed to benefit men whose tumors have acquired defects in DNA repair, the British researchers said. "This is the first time a drug with potential to be used for treating advanced prostate cancer is associated with a clear genetic signature, permitting us to predict who is likely to benefit from the therapy," said lead researcher Dr. Joaquin Mateo, a medical oncologist at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. The researchers are now conducting a second trial to confirm the results, he said. "We believe this is the most relevant step towards delivering personalized management, guided by the characteristics ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Lynparza

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

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