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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, Xeloda, Tasigna, 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, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Xeloda, Tasigna, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Herceptin, Cervical Cancer, Mercaptopurine, 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, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Votrient, Letrozole, Tarceva

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, Fluorouracil, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Xeloda, Megestrol, Zoladex, Megace, Evista, Pancreatic Cancer, Hydroxyurea

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

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, Votrient, Brain Tumor, Letrozole

Most Breast Cancer Patients Have Help Choosing Treatments

Posted 10 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – Most women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer don't go it alone. Many breast cancer patients depend on family and friends to help them make treatment decisions, get to doctor appointments and seek out other resources. A new study finds half of women rely on three or more people to help them through it. "People just diagnosed with cancer are often scared and overwhelmed. Having another person to help them process information is important," said study lead author Lauren Wallner, an assistant professor of general medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan. "Physicians need to recognize that women involve other people in their treatment decisions," she added in a university news release. "These people represent an important group to provide information about treatment options." For the study, the researchers surveyed about 2,500 women who had ... Read more

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

FDA Widens Access to 'Cooling Cap' to Stop Hair Loss in Cancer Patients

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – More cancer patients may be able to ward off hair loss during chemotherapy treatment. A cooling cap approved in 2015 for use in breast cancer patients has won expanded approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The DigniCap Cooling System can now be used for patients with solid tumors, the FDA announced. The computer-controlled cap contains liquid that circulates and cools the scalp, narrowing blood vessels. This reduces how much of the chemotherapy drugs reach hair follicle cells, the FDA said. Cooling also decreases activity of hair follicles and slows cell division. The result: Chemo drugs don't affect them as much, according to the FDA. Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, especially during treatment of most solid tumor cancers. Hair may fall out all at once, little by little or become thin. It's usually temporary – and upsetting. ... Read more

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

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

'Cooling Caps' May Halt Chemo-Linked Hair Loss

Posted 14 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – Scalp cooling caps can help breast cancer patients save their hair from the ravages of chemotherapy, a pair of new studies suggests. More than half of women fitted with cooling caps kept their hair during chemotherapy in the world's first randomized clinical trial of the devices, said lead researcher Dr. Julie Nangia. She is an assistant professor and breast cancer expert with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "The trial was stopped early because the device was so effective in the group that got the device," Nangia said. "In our study, half of women who used the scalp cooling device kept their hair, and in the control group there was zero percent hair retention. Everyone who didn't have the device lost their hair." A second study also found that the cooling caps could reduce hair loss, with two-thirds of patients losing half or less of their hair ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Herceptin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Perjeta, Kadcyla, Tykerb, Trastuzumab, Lapatinib, Pertuzumab, Ado-trastuzumab Emtansine

Half Report Severe Side Effects From Breast Cancer Therapy

Posted 24 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 2017 – About half of early stage breast cancer patients experience severe side effects from their treatment, a new study finds. "It's in patients' best interest to receive their treatments on time and on schedule, whenever possible, to give them the best possible outcome," said study author Dr. Steven Katz. He's professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan. "Unscheduled care for toxicities [side effects] – including clinic visits, emergency department visits and hospital stays – are expensive, inconvenient and disruptive to both doctors and patients. We need to avoid them whenever possible," Katz said in a university news release. For the study, researchers surveyed almost 2,000 early stage breast cancer patients an average of seven months after diagnosis. The women were asked to rate the severity of seven common treatment side effects: ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Fluorouracil, Efudex, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Carac, Herceptin, Taxol, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Taxotere, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Carboplatin, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Paclitaxel, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Fluoroplex, Doxorubicin, Adriamycin, Epirubicin

'Chemo Brain' Lasts for Months in Many Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted 11 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – "Chemo brain" – the mental fog common after breast cancer treatment – can persist for six months, new research shows. The finding comes from one of the largest studies to date to look at chemotherapy-related thinking problems that plague many women treated for breast cancer. Those problems can include memory lapses, attention issues and difficulty processing information. When researchers compared hundreds of U.S. women six months after chemotherapy ended with hundreds of healthy women, they found more than one-third of the chemotherapy group had a decline in thinking scores versus less than 15 percent of the others. "The bottom line is, this is a real problem, patients are having difficulties and we need to acknowledge it is one of the difficulties of treatment," said Dr. Patricia Ganz. Ganz is director of cancer prevention and control research at the ... Read more

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

Study Casts More Doubt on Value of Mammograms

Posted 10 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2017 – Mammograms frequently detect small breast tumors that might never become life-threatening, causing women to receive treatment they likely don't need, a new Danish study finds. About one in every three women between the ages of 50 and 69 who was diagnosed with breast cancer wound up having a tumor that posed no immediate threat to her health, the researchers reported. At the same time, mammography did not reduce the number of advanced breast cancers found in women in the study. "This means that breast screening is unlikely to improve breast cancer survival or reduce the use of invasive surgery," said study author Dr. Karsten Juhl Jorgensen, deputy director of research for the Nordic Cochrane Center at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. "It also means that breast screening leads to unnecessary detection and treatment of many breast cancers." Dr. Otis Brawley, chief ... Read more

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

Breast Cancer Cells May Change When They Spread to Brain: Study

Posted 7 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 – When breast cancer spreads to the brain, important molecular changes may occur in the cancer, a small study found. The discovery of these changes could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment, the researchers said. About 20 percent of breast cancers are a type known as HER2-positive, which typically respond to targeted therapies. However, HER2-negative breast cancer that has spread to the brain doesn't respond to the same therapies. In this study, researchers analyzed tumors from 20 patients in the United States and Ireland. They found that primary breast cancer identified as HER2-negative switched to HER2-positive when it spread to the brain. The findings show that treatments should target not only the original breast cancer, but also brain tumors, said study author Adrian Lee, director of the Institute for Precision Medicine, part of the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Estradiol, Premarin, Estrace, Ethinyl Estradiol, Arimidex, Femara, Vagifem, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Anastrozole, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Letrozole, Vivelle, Climara, Estring, Vivelle-Dot, Premarin Vaginal, Estradiol Patch, Herceptin, Aromasin

Intense Chemo Offers Little Benefit for Early Breast Cancer: Study

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – A more intense type of chemotherapy offers little benefit over standard chemotherapy for women with high-risk early breast cancer, European researchers report. Known as tailored dose-dense chemotherapy, the treatments are given over a shorter period of time without increasing the overall dose. It has been suggested as a way to improve the effectiveness of the treatment for early breast cancer. However, the European study did not find a difference in recurrence-free survival or overall survival after five years of follow-up. The investigators did find that the dose-dense group had better event-free survival, defined as the time to any breast cancer relapse, cancer in the opposite breast, other malignant growths or death from any cause. Despite the results, a U.S. breast cancer expert said there is still a role for the approach in certain women. Researchers from ... Read more

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

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