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Doctors' Group Offers Ideas for Easing Cancer Costs

Posted 4 days ago 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, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Gleevec, Zoladex, Votrient, Brain Tumor, Anastrozole

Childhood Chemo May Have Lasting Effects on Memory

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – Childhood cancer survivors who had chemotherapy may have certain types of thinking and memory problems as young adults, a small study suggests. Belgian researchers assessed 31 young adults who had undergone chemotherapy. They were at an average age of slightly over 6 when they had the treatment. The researchers compared them with a control group of young adults who hadn't received chemotherapy. Both groups had similar scores on tests of long-term memory and ability to concentrate. Those are skills that developed before the cancer survivors underwent chemotherapy, the researchers said. But compared to the control group, the cancer survivors had poorer thinking flexibility and short-term memory. These skills develop at a later age, the researchers explained. "Tests that require quick switching between tasks or remembering new information for a short amount of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Leukemia, Fluorouracil, Xeloda, Hydroxyurea, Mercaptopurine, Hydrea, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Capecitabine, Dacogen, Temodar, Bendamustine, Oxaliplatin, Treanda, Gemzar, Gemcitabine

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, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Rituxan, Gleevec, Isotretinoin

Drug Xeloda Prolongs Survival for Some Breast Cancer Patients

Posted 31 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2017 – A drug called Xeloda can extend the lives of some women whose breast cancer is not wiped out by standard treatment, a new clinical trial finds. Oncologists said the results are "practice-changing." "This drug is already approved, and we've been using it for a long time in cancer treatment," said Dr. Stephen Malamud, an oncologist at Mount Sinai in New York City. Xeloda (capecitabine) is a pill, so it's easy to take and is "much less toxic" than standard chemotherapy, noted Malamud, who was not involved in the new research. "Most importantly," he said, "it extended overall survival in this study." In 1998, Xeloda was approved in the United States for advanced breast cancer that had spread to distant sites in the body. The new trial, done in Japan and South Korea, tested the drug for a different group of patients. It focused on 910 women whose breast tumors were ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Xeloda, Herceptin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Capecitabine, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Chemo Drug May Buy Time for Those With Bile Duct Cancer

Posted 19 May 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 – The chemotherapy drug Xeloda may prolong survival in those struck by a type of digestive system cancer, a new study finds. People with bile duct cancer who received the medication lived for an average of about 17 months longer than those who didn't take it, the researchers found. Based on the findings, the study authors suggested that Xeloda should be given routinely to patients with this disease. Bile duct cancer – which occurs in an area that connects the liver, gallbladder and the small intestine – is rare and aggressive. It affects an estimated 8,000 people in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society. A statement from Cancer Research UK, which funded the new study, said it's difficult to study treatments for bile duct cancer because so few patients are available to take part in clinical trials. For the study, researchers gave ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Xeloda, Bile Acid Synthesis Disorders

Most Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancers Enjoy Good Sexual Health

Posted 6 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2017 – Treatment received in childhood to help fight cancer can have an impact on sexual health in adulthood, a new report suggests. However, the study also found that most adult survivors of childhood cancer report having satisfying sexual and romantic lives. "As positive as it is to see this, we still should be closely monitoring sexual health in adults who did have cancer treatment as children, especially those needing high-dose neurotoxic [brain-harming] treatments," said Dr. Matthew Lorber, who reviewed the new findings. He directs child and adolescent psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The new research was published online Feb. 6 in the journal Cancer and was led by Vicky Lehmann, of Nationwide Children's Hospital and Ohio State University in Columbus. Lehmann's team noted that treatment for childhood cancer can harm the developing brain in a way ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, Methotrexate, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Female Infertility, Leukemia, Fluorouracil, Xeloda, Ovulation Induction, Hydroxyurea, Mercaptopurine, Hydrea, Capecitabine, Dacogen, Gemzar, Gemcitabine, Sexual Deviations or Disorders, Decitabine

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

'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, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Gleevec, Isotretinoin, Claravis, Tarceva, Skin Cancer, Xeloda, Tasigna, BCG, Revlimid, Herceptin, Zytiga, Hydroxyurea

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, Cyclophosphamide, Capecitabine, Dacogen, Temodar, Bendamustine, Oxaliplatin, Treanda, Gemzar

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, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Gleevec, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Xeloda, Ovarian Cancer, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Tasigna, 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, Capecitabine, Oxaliplatin, Temodar, Bendamustine, Treanda, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Gemzar

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

Breast Cancer Drugs Battle Disease's Return

Posted 9 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 – A pair of drugs already on the market appear to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer in women who've already undergone treatment, two new clinical trials show. The chemotherapy drug capecitabine (Afinitor) seems to reduce by nearly a third the risk of breast cancer recurrence if women receive the drug following surgery to remove their cancer, researchers were to report Wednesday at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. In addition, an osteoporosis medication called denosumab appears to reduce recurrence risk by 18 percent in women who have HR-positive breast cancer, a second study reports. Denosumab (Xgeva) is usually given to women undergoing breast cancer treatment because hormone therapy for their disease can make their bones brittle, explained lead researcher Dr. Michael Gnant, a professor of surgery at the Medical University of Vienna in ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Osteoporosis, Prolia, Fracture, bone, Xeloda, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Xgeva, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Capecitabine, Denosumab

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

Chemo for Breast Cancer Erases Woman's Fingerprints

Posted 16 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 – A 65-year-old breast cancer patient ran into an unexpected problem with her bank: She was denied a transaction because her fingerprints had disappeared. Reporting in the April 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors in Mexico said the woman's unusual case was due to the effects of chemotherapy for an advanced breast cancer that had spread to the lungs. A chemotherapy side effect called "hand-foot syndrome" appears to be tied to the fingerprint loss, wrote Drs. Yanin Chavarri-Guerra and Enrique Soto-Perez-de-Celis, of the Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition in Mexico City. They described the syndrome as "characterized by redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet." The patient in question experienced hand-foot syndrome that was so bad it interfered with everyday tasks, the two physicians said. "Loss of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Avastin, Xeloda, Capecitabine, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Bevacizumab

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