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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

FDA Approves Cotellic (cobimetinib) for the Combination Treatment of Advanced Melanoma

Posted 10 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

November 10, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Cotellic (cobimetinib) to be used in combination with vemurafenib to treat advanced melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body or can’t be removed by surgery, and that has a certain type of abnormal gene (BRAF V600E or V600K mutation). Melanoma is the most aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer in the United States. It forms in the skin cells that develop the skin’s pigment and if not diagnosed early, the cancer is likely to spread to other parts of the body. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 73,870 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma and 9,940 will die from the disease this year. “As we continue to advance our knowledge of tumor biology, we have learned that cancer cells have a remarkable ability to adapt and become resistant to targeted therapies. Combining two or more treat ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Zelboraf, Vemurafenib, Cotellic, Cobimetinib

Cotellic Approved for Advanced Melanoma

Posted 10 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 – Cotellic (cobimetinib) in combination with another chemotherapy, vemurafenib (Zelboraf) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat melanoma skin cancer that has spread or cannot be surgically removed, the agency said Tuesday in a news release. Melanoma is the most aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer. Nearly 74,000 Americans are projected to be diagnosed this year, and nearly 10,000 will die from it, according to U.S. National Cancer Institute estimates cited by the FDA. Cotellic is designed to block an enzyme dubbed MEK, which when inhibited can help prevent or slow the growth of cancer cells, the agency explained. The anti-melanoma drug vemurafenib was FDA approved in 2011 to treat melanoma among people with a gene mutation called BRAF V600E. Cotellic has been approved for melanoma patients with the same gene mutation, or a ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Zelboraf, Vemurafenib

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

New Melanoma Drug May Extend Survival

Posted 25 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 25 – New research suggests that a new drug does a better job of combating advanced skin cancer in melanoma patients than chemotherapy. However, patients typically still got worse after only a few months on the drug. The drug, called dabrafenib, blocks a signaling protein and is used to treat melanomas with a specific genetic mutation. About half of melanoma patients have this mutation. In a phase 3 trial funded by the drug's maker, GlaxoSmithKline, an international group of researchers led by Dr. Axel Hauschild of the Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital in Kiel, Germany, gave dabrafenib or the most common existing treatment, dacarbazine (DTIC-Dome), to 250 patients with spreading or inoperable melanoma. About half responded partially (47 percent) or fully (3 percent) to dabrafenib; the response rate among the dacarbazine group was just 6 percent. Those who took the new ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Zelboraf, Vemurafenib

Two-Drug Combo May Be Safe for Melanoma Treatment

Posted 16 May 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 16 – A preliminary, first-stage study funded by a pharmaceutical company shows promising results for an experimental double-drug therapy for melanoma. The two drugs, known as dabrafenib and trametinib, appeared to delay progression of the potentially deadly skin cancer with fewer side effects than an existing drug called vemurafenib (Zelboraf). However, the research into the drug combination is only in the first of three phases required before the U.S. government can approve its use. The first phase is designed to test the safety of a medication, not whether it works. Unlike some other cancers, melanoma has stubbornly resisted advances in treatment. About 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and about 8,000 of those will die from the disease. Researchers tested the drug combo in patients with advanced melanoma and a genetic mutation that exists in ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Zelboraf, Vemurafenib

Melanoma Drug's Link to Other Skin Cancers Identified

Posted 18 Jan 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 – The recently approved drug vemurafenib (Zelboraf) has been hailed as a breakthrough in the treatment of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. But roughly one-quarter of patients who take the medication develop a troublesome side effect: secondary skin cancers called squamous cell carcinomas. Now, a new study by researchers at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues identifies the specific genetic mechanism that causes this side effect. "What we found is that vemurafenib blocks the mutation that makes the melanoma grow, but when patients have skin cells with another mutation that's probably induced from sun exposure, there the drug has the exact opposite effect and causes these squamous cell cancers to grow," said Dr. Antoni Ribas, co-senior author of the study and an associate professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Zelboraf, Vemurafenib

Targeted Drugs, Lung CT Screening Top Cancer Advances in 2011

Posted 6 Dec 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 – As the war against cancer continues, a group representing U.S. oncologists has picked its "Top Five" list of advances in cancer care for 2011. Leading the list are approvals for a bevy of new, targeted drugs for tough-to-treat malignancies, plus promising results suggesting CT chest scans may be an early-detection screen for lung cancer. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) this week issued its annual report on progress against cancer. The report was published online Dec. 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. "The big news has been targeted drug therapy," noted Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, head of the section of genitourinary cancer at the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas and co-executive editor of the report. "We now have drugs that are very selective for some solid tumors. We now have [new] drugs affecting melanoma and lung cancer, which is pretty ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Aromasin, Exemestane, Xalkori, Zelboraf, Vemurafenib, Yervoy, Crizotinib, Ipilimumab

The War on Cancer Continues

Posted 20 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 20 – Forty years after President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act into law and pledged to put the country's resources to work to find better treatments for cancer, substantial victories have been scored against some, but not all, cancers. That's the core finding of a new report, the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2011, released Tuesday by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The National Cancer Act promised more funding for cancer research and prevention. Since then, death rates for many cancers have dropped significantly. From 1990 to 2007, death rates for all cancers combined dropped 22 percent for men and 14 percent for women, resulting in nearly 900,000 fewer deaths during that time, according to the report. Today, more than 68 percent of adults live five years or more after being diagnosed, up from 50 percent in 1975. The five-year survival rate for ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Zelboraf, Yervoy, Vemurafenib, Ipilimumab

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