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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, Sutent, Sprycel, Afinitor, Nexavar, Stomach Cancer, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cyclophosphamide

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

For Seniors, Treatment for One Eye Disease May Cause Another

Posted 16 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 – Drugs that preserve vision in people with the eye disease called age-related macular degeneration might increase the risk of another eye condition – glaucoma, a new study suggests. People who received at least seven eye injections of the drug bevacizumab (Avastin) each year to treat macular degeneration have a higher risk of eventually needing surgery to treat glaucoma, the Canadian study found. But, the researchers aren't suggesting that people forgo these treatments for macular degeneration. These drugs help stave off a previously untreatable cause of blindness in the elderly, and should continue to be used, the researchers said. And, if glaucoma does develop, treatments are available. "Even though there may be a risk here, this doesn't mean you should not be getting injections for macular degeneration," said study lead author Dr. Brennan Eadie. He's an ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma (Open Angle), Votrient, Avastin, Sutent, Nexavar, Pazopanib, Stivarga, Sunitinib, Retinal Disorders, Glaucoma/Intraocular Hypertension, Sorafenib, Cyramza, Retinopathy, Bevacizumab, Lenvima, Inlyta, Ramucirumab

Some Advanced Kidney Cancer Patients May Postpone Treatment

Posted 4 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2016 – Not all adults with advanced kidney cancer that has spread require immediate, aggressive treatment, a small new study suggests. "A subset of adults with advanced kidney cancer have slow-growing disease that can be safely managed using active surveillance," explained study lead author Brian Rini, of the Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute. This "watch and wait" approach, instead of active treatment, "could spare them the inconvenience and debilitating side effects of aggressive treatments for about a year, and in some cases several years, without worsening anxiety and depression," Rini said in a news release from The Lancet Oncology. The journal published the findings Aug. 4. In advanced kidney cancer, drugs such as sunitinib and sorafenib are typically used. While they can slow disease progression, they do not cure it, the researchers said. Could some ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Renal Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease, Sutent, Nexavar, Sunitinib, Sorafenib, Wilms' Tumor, Urinary Tract Cancer

Cancer's Heavy Financial Burden

Posted 8 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 – Many cancer patients can't afford to see their doctor or take the medications they've been prescribed, a new study finds. And the problem will likely only get worse as the cost of cancer treatments continues to rise, the study authors said. "You can prescribe the best drug in the world, but if patients can't afford it and they can't get it, then it won't be effective," said study author Dr. Greg Knight. He is chief fellow with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's division of hematology and oncology. "We saw a significant portion of patients in our study who were stretching their prescriptions or not coming to the doctor's office," Knight said in a university news release. The researchers reviewed survey results from nearly 2,000 patients at the N.C. Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C. The participants were all 18 and older, and had been ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Votrient, Brain Tumor, Tarceva, Melanoma, Avastin, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Tasigna, Endometrial Cancer, Sutent, Sprycel, Herceptin, Afinitor, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced

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

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, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Femara, Lupron Depot, Gleevec, Rituxan, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, 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: Depo-Provera, Provera, Amoxicillin, Metronidazole, Doxycycline, Clindamycin, Cephalexin, Azithromycin, Penicillin, Methotrexate, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Augmentin, Flagyl, Levaquin, Lupron, Keflex, Medroxyprogesterone

Liver Cancer Drug Fails to Live Up to Early Promise

Posted 1 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 1, 2014 – Although it looked promising in early studies, the drug everolimus didn't improve survival for people with advanced liver cancer in its latest trial, a new study found. The findings from the phase 3 clinical trial are disappointing because earlier research suggested that everolimus (Afinitor) prevented tumor progression and improved survival for in advanced liver cancer. Normally, these patients can expect a median overall survival of less than one year. The only drug currently shown to significantly improve survival of advanced liver cancer patients is sorafenib (Nexavar). But that drug's benefits are temporary and the cancer eventually progresses, according to background information in the new study. The current study included 546 adults with advanced liver cancer whose disease progressed during or after treatment with sorafenib, or who could not take ... Read more

Related support groups: Afinitor, Nexavar, Sorafenib, Everolimus, Hepatic Tumor, Zortress

FDA Approves Nexavar to Treat Metastatic Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Posted 22 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

November 22, 2013 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved uses of Nexavar (sorafenib) to treat late-stage (metastatic) differentiated thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is a cancerous growth of the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck. Differentiated thyroid cancer is the most common type of thyroid cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 60,220 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer and 1,850 will die from the disease in 2013. Nexavar works by inhibiting multiple proteins in cancer cells, limiting cancer cell growth and division. The drug’s new use is intended for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive differentiated thyroid cancer that no longer responds to radioactive iodine treatment. “Differentiated thyroid cancer can be challenging to treat, especially when unresponsive to conventional therapies,” said ... Read more

Related support groups: Thyroid Cancer, Nexavar, Sorafenib

Cancer Drug Nexavar Tied to Pancreas Damage in Two Patients

Posted 9 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 9 – The cancer drug sorafenib, known by its trade name Nexavar, could have a toxic effect on the pancreas of patients who take it for extended periods. Sorafenib works by inhibiting or halting the creation of new blood vessels into a tumor. It is mainly used to treat liver and kidney cancer, and is being considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for thyroid cancer. But the drug can also harm a person's pancreas by interfering with blood flow to the vital organ, researchers from the University of Paris Descartes wrote in a letter published in the Oct. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. CT scans showed that long-term use may cause a patient's pancreas to shrink by as much as one-third. "We report reproducible evidence of irreversible pancreatic atrophy in two patients after long-term treatment with sorafenib," the French researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Nexavar, Sorafenib

Drug May Work Against Advanced Thyroid Cancer

Posted 3 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, June 2 – A drug already used for advanced kidney and liver cancers may help slow the progression of thyroid cancers that do not respond to standard treatment, a new clinical trial finds. Researchers found that the drug, called sorafenib (Nexavar), taken as a pill, nearly doubled the length of time that patients remained progression-free – from about six months to 11 months. It's not a cure, and no one knows yet whether sorafenib can ultimately extend people's lives. But experts said the findings offer some hope to a group of patients who currently lack good options. "If we can control the disease, and do it with tolerable toxicity, that's a good thing," said Dr. Gregory Masters, a medical oncologist who was not involved in the research. In general, thyroid cancer is a highly curable disease. But about 10 percent of patients do not respond to the mainstays of treatment: surgery ... Read more

Related support groups: Thyroid Cancer, Nexavar, Sorafenib

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, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Accutane, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Rituxan, Isotretinoin, Votrient, Claravis, Anastrozole, Letrozole

Certain Cancer Drugs May Have Fatal Side Effects: Analysis

Posted 6 Feb 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 6 – Treatment with three relatively new cancer drugs may be linked to a slightly increased risk of death, a new analysis suggests. While the risk is low, it should be taken into account by doctors and patients, according to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists and colleagues. The investigators analyzed the findings of 10 clinical trials that included nearly 4,700 patients treated with sorafenib (Nexavar) for kidney and liver cancer; sunitinib (Sutent) for kidney cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumor; or pazopanib (Votrient) for kidney cancer. These so-called "targeted" drugs are used to stop the growth or spread of cancer by blocking the vascular endothelial growth factor tyrosine kinase receptors in cancer cells, the researchers explained in a Dana-Farber news release. The analysis of the clinical trials revealed that the incidence of fatal complications was 1.5 ... Read more

Related support groups: Votrient, Sutent, Nexavar, Pazopanib, Sunitinib, Sorafenib

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Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Thyroid Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Hepatic Tumor

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Sorafenib Patient Information at Drugs.com