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Insured, But Still Barred From Top-Tier Cancer Centers

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – Choosing a cheaper health plan could cost you access to cream-of-the-crop cancer doctors and facilities, a new study reports. Less-expensive "narrow network" health plans are much less likely to cover treatment by doctors at centers affiliated with the U.S. National Cancer Institute, said study lead author Laura Yasaitis. "We found that the narrower networks were more likely to systematically exclude NCI-affiliated physicians," said Yasaitis, a postdoctoral researcher with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "The oncologists they included in their networks were about half as likely to be NCI-affiliated as those they excluded." NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are the nation's top-flight facilities for cancer care, and studies have shown that patients treated at these centers tend to have better outcomes, Yasaitis said. Access to these centers is ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Head and Neck Cancer, Gastric Cancer

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

Posted 4 days ago 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

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Many Terminal Cancer Patients Remain in Denial

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – Nearly 10 percent of patients with terminal cancer don't want to know they're dying, which can make their final days more difficult, a new study finds. Unwillingness to face poor prospects can lead to unnecessary treatments and keep patients from making end-of-life plans, the researchers reported recently in The Oncologist. "Health care professionals should appropriately assess patients' readiness for prognostic information," said study leader Siew-Tzuh Tang, a professor at Chang Gung University School of Nursing in Taiwan. Doctors should respect patients' reluctance to confront their poor prognosis if they are not ready to know, "but sensitively coach them to cultivate their accurate prognostic awareness," Tang said in a journal news release. The study involved nearly 250 terminal cancer patients in Taiwan. They were questioned several times over their last ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention

For Holocaust Survivors, Raised Risk of Cancer

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – Holocaust survivors face an increased risk for cancer, a new study finds. The study included more than 152,600 survivors of the World War II genocide who were followed for more than 45 years. The researchers compared whether these survivors received compensation for their suffering and whether they were born in Nazi-occupied countries. Cancer was diagnosed in 22 percent of compensated survivors and 16 percent of the others, the findings showed. Compensated survivors were 6 percent more likely to develop any type of cancer; 12 percent more likely to have colorectal cancer; and 37 percent more likely to have lung cancer. In addition, the investigators found that people born in occupied countries had an 8 percent higher cancer risk. Their risk of colorectal cancer was also 8 percent higher, and their risk of lung cancer was 12 percent higher. Female holocaust ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation

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

Gene-Targeted Drugs Fight Advanced Lung Cancers

Posted 5 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 5, 2017 – Two drugs that target genetic flaws are giving people with specific types of advanced lung cancer a chance to live longer and better, a pair of new clinical trials finds. A newly approved drug called alectinib (Alecensa) works twice as long as the current standard medication in halting cancer growth in patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer, results from a new global clinical trial show. ALK is a gene that produces a protein that helps cancer cells grow and spread, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). In another study, an experimental drug called dacomitinib delayed cancer growth by about half in non-small cell lung cancer patients who had a mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that caused cancer cells to grow faster, a second trial reported. Non-small cell lung cancers comprise most lung cancer cases. EGFR is a ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Xalkori, Iressa, Crizotinib, Gefitinib, Alecensa, Alectinib

Suicide Risk Quadruples After Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – People with lung cancer have a strikingly higher-than-normal risk of suicide, a new study finds. While a cancer diagnosis on its own significantly raises the risk of suicide, the study found that a lung cancer diagnosis raised the odds of suicide by over four times compared to people in the general population. "A cancer diagnosis is an overwhelming diagnosis for patients psychologically and emotionally," explained study senior author Dr. Jeffrey Port. "It is a very tough diagnosis for patients to manage, and there is a higher suicide rate," he added. Port is a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. The study included data from over 3 million patients during a 40-year period. Cancer diagnoses were linked to over 6,600 suicides. Although the study wasn't designed to prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Dysthymia

Takeda Announces FDA Accelerated Approval of Alunbrig (brigatinib)

Posted 29 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

Cambridge, Mass. and Osaka, Japan – April 28, 2017 – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) today announced that Alunbrig (brigatinib) has received Accelerated Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have progressed on or are intolerant to crizotinib. This indication is approved under Accelerated Approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial. Alunbrig, which previously received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA, is a once-daily oral therapy that may be taken with or without food. “In recent years, small molecule ALK inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment options fo ... Read more

Related support groups: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Alunbrig, Brigatinib

Study Says Blood-Chromosome Test Predicts Lung Cancer's Return

Posted 26 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 – Unstable chromosomes within lung cancer tumors increase the risk that the cancer will return after surgery, researchers report. The investigators said they used this new information to forecast the return of lung cancer long before standard tests could spot it. The findings were published April 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature. The Cancer Research UK-funded TRACERx study included 100 patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The study participants were followed from diagnosis, through surgery, to either cure or disease relapse. Patients with a high proportion of unstable chromosomes in their tumors had more than quadruple the risk of their cancer returning, or of dying from their disease, within two years, the findings showed. The study offers "new insights into how tumors evolve and evade treatment, a leading cause of cancer death," lead ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation

Drug Offers Some Hope for a Deadly Lung Cancer

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 – The cancer drug Opdivo (nivolumab) may offer hope of a longer life for some patients with advanced lung cancer, a new small study finds. Currently, only about 5 percent of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer survive five years or more. But that rate rose to about 16 percent among a group taking Opdivo, researchers reported Monday. "For the first time we are reporting long-term survival for patients with advanced lung cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Julie Brahmer. Brahmer is an associate professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in Baltimore. Opdivo is an immunotherapy drug, which means it enlists the patient's own immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. "Immune therapy may play a role in almost any cancer. We are working to increase the response in lung cancer patients," Brahmer said. Opdivo ... Read more

Related support groups: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Opdivo, Nivolumab

Tagrisso (osimertinib) Receives FDA Full Approval

Posted 3 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

31 March 2017 – AstraZeneca today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval for Tagrisso (osimertinib) 80mg once-daily tablets, for the treatment of patients with metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) T790M mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as detected by an FDA-approved test, whose disease has progressed on or after an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. Tagrisso is the first and only approved medicine in the US indicated for NSCLC patients who have tested positive for the EGFR T790M mutation, and efficacy data suggest it may be a new standard of care for these patients. Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer at AstraZeneca, said: “By following the science, we aim to turn lung cancer into a chronic, manageable disease for patients and this m ... Read more

Related support groups: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tagrisso, Osimertinib

Survival Continues to Improve for Most Cancers

Posted 31 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 31, 2017 – Overall cancer death rates in the United States continue to fall, but racial gaps persist, a new report says. Death rates fell between 2010 and 2014 for 11 of the 16 most common cancers in men and for 13 of the most common types in women, including lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers. However, death rates rose for cancers of the liver, pancreas and brain in men and for the liver and uterus in women. And improvements in cancer survival weren't equal for all Americans. "While this report found that five-year survival for most types of cancer improved among both blacks and whites over the past several decades, racial disparities for many common cancers have persisted, and they may have increased for prostate cancer and female breast cancer," said Dr. Lynne Penberthy. She's associate director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Research ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Bladder Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Cervical Cancer

Smoking Rates Drop After Global Tobacco Treaty

Posted 22 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – After 180 countries agreed to a global tobacco control treaty in 2005, there was a 2.5 percent decrease in smoking worldwide during the next decade, a new study shows. All of the participating countries agreed to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Signing countries committed to introducing policies such as high tobacco taxes and smoke-free public spaces. They also agreed to warning labels, advertising bans, and support for smoking cessation services. "The study provides strong evidence that the FCTC has led to a significant increase in the implementation of tobacco control measures," said study co-author Geoffrey Fong, professor of psychology and health studies at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He and his colleagues reviewed data from 116 countries that signed the treaty and 10 that didn't. Overall, smoking ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicorette DS, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief

Blood Test May Spot Lung Cancer's Return, Even Before Scans

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – A blood test can detect the return of lung cancer months before CT and PET scans, a new study suggests. The research included 48 adults with stage 2 or 3 locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The patients were aged 31 to 84. All were treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Blood samples were taken before treatment, during treatment, and at six different times during the two years following treatment. The blood samples were checked for increased levels of circulating tumor cells, the researchers said. The blood tests were able to detect lung cancer recurrence an average of six months before CT and PET scans, the investigators found. The study was presented March 16 at a meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, in San Francisco. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed ... Read more

Related support groups: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging

Gleevec Keeps a Leukemia in Check for More Than a Decade: Study

Posted 9 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 – The cancer drug Gleevec appears to keep chronic myeloid leukemia at bay a decade into treatment – with no signs of additional safety risks, a new study finds. Gleevec – known generically as imatinib – was hailed as a "wonder drug" when it was introduced in 2001 for treating chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). CML is a type of blood cancer that strikes about 5,000 Americans each year, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI). Before Gleevec, a CML diagnosis "amounted to a death sentence," the institute said. Now, most cases can be controlled, with either Gleevec or related drugs that have been developed since then. The new findings offer more evidence that the early "hype" around Gleevec was correct, said lead researcher Dr. Andreas Hochhaus, of Jena University Hospital in Germany. Of more than 500 CML patients given Gleevec as their initial ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Tasigna, Sprycel, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Imatinib, Dasatinib, Nilotinib, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia

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