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

'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, Tasigna, BCG, Revlimid, Hydroxyurea, Sprycel, Herceptin

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

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, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Tasigna, Ovarian Cancer, 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, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Dacogen, Cyclophosphamide, Temodar, Bendamustine, Oxaliplatin, Treanda, Gemzar, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Gemcitabine

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

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

Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Amoxicillin, Metronidazole, Doxycycline, Cephalexin, Penicillin, Clindamycin, Bactrim, Methotrexate, Azithromycin, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Lupron, Levaquin, Augmentin, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Femara, Gleevec, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis, Votrient, Anastrozole, Avastin

FDA Medwatch Alert: Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers, Azathioprine and/or Mercaptopurine: Update on Reports of Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma in Adolescents and Young Adults

Posted 6 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

  [UPDATED 11/04/2011]  Healthcare professionals should remain vigilant for cases of malignancy in patients treated with TNF blockers, and report such cases to MedWatch. The reports should include: patient characteristics (age, gender, no patient identifiers) risk factors for malignancy exposure to other immune suppressing products or products with risk of malignancy indication for TNF blocker treatment TNF blocker exposure (duration, dose) cancer diagnosis (date of diagnosis, stage) biopsy results outcomes of malignancy (treatments, event outcome)   [Posted 04/14/2011] ISSUE: FDA continues to receive reports of a rare cancer of white blood cells (known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL, primarily in adolescents and young adults being treated for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with medicines known as tumor necrosis factors (TNF) blockers, as well as with azathioprine, ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Imuran, Cimzia, Simponi, Azathioprine, Mercaptopurine, Infliximab, Adalimumab, Etanercept, Purinethol, Azasan, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Cancer Patients Should Ask Doctors to Use Simple Terms

Posted 28 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 – Cancer patients are often faced with many difficult-to-understand treatment choices that can have serious side effects and even mean the difference between life and death. That's why it's crucial that patients insist doctors use plain language in explaining the options, advised Angela Fagerlin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a researcher at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "People are making life and death decisions that may affect their survival and they need to know what they're getting themselves into. Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo," Fagerlin said in a university news release. She and her colleagues outlined a number of tips to help patients get the information they need ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin

FDA Medwatch Alert: Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers, Azathioprine and/or Mercaptopurine: Update on Reports of Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma in Adolescents and Young Adults

Posted 16 Apr 2011 by Drugs.com

[Posted 04/14/2011] ISSUE: FDA continues to receive reports of a rare cancer of white blood cells (known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL, primarily in adolescents and young adults being treated for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with medicines known as tumor necrosis factors (TNF) blockers, as well as with azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine.  TNF blockers include Remicade (infliximab), Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) and Simponi (golimumab). BACKGROUND: HSTCL is an aggressive (fast-growing) cancer and is usually fatal. The majority of cases reported were in patients being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but also included a patient being treated for psoriasis and two patients being treated for rheumatoid arthritis. FDA is now updating the number of reported cases of HSTCL. Although most reported cases of HSTCL oc ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Imuran, Cimzia, Simponi, Azathioprine, Mercaptopurine, Infliximab, Adalimumab, Etanercept, Purinethol, Azasan, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Drugs for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Might Increase Cancer Risk

Posted 16 Jul 2010 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 19 – The use of thiopurine drugs to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increases the risk of cancers related to viral infection, according to a new study. IBD includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Thiopurine drugs are used to suppress the immune system in order to maintain remission in IBD patients. For this study, French researchers analyzed data on 19,486 IBD patients (60 percent with Crohn's and 40 percent with ulcerative colitis or unclassified IBD) who were followed for a median of 35 months. At the start of the study, 30 percent of patients were taking thiopurines, 14 percent had discontinued them, and 56 percent had never received thiopurines. During the study, 23 patients developed malignant lymphoproliferative disorders (LD) – cancers that are associated with viral infection, particularly those linked to Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection. Of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Disease - Maintenance, Ulcerative Colitis - Active, Imuran, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn's Disease - Acute, Azathioprine, Ulcerative Colitis - Maintenance, Mercaptopurine, Azasan, Purinethol, Tabloid, Thioguanine

Bowel Disease Treatment May Raise Skin Cancer Risk

Posted 2 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 26 – Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients who are being treated with immunosuppressive medications may be at increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancer, a new U.S. study says. Researchers analyzed data on 26,403 Crohn's disease patients and 26,974 patients with ulcerative colitis in order to evaluate how the use of immunosuppressive and biologic medications to treat IBD affected non-melanoma skin cancer risk. The study found that the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer was higher in IBD patients than in a control group. Recent use (within 90 days) of any immunosuppressive medication was associated with greater risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (adjusted odds ratio 3.28), as was recent use of the thiopurine class of immunosuppressive medications (adjusted odds ratio 3.56) and recent use of biologic medications in Crohn's disease patients (adjusted odds ratio 2.07). ... Read more

Related support groups: Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Disease - Maintenance, Ulcerative Colitis - Active, Imuran, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn's Disease - Acute, Azathioprine, Ulcerative Colitis - Maintenance, Mercaptopurine, Azasan, Purinethol, Tabloid, Thioguanine

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