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Powerful Cancer Drugs Linked to Rare Heart Risks

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – In rare cases, potent drugs that prompt the immune system to fight cancer may threaten the heart in the process, researchers report. Known as immunotherapy, these medications have transformed cancer treatment in recent years, sending some patients who had few options left into remission. But a report in the Nov. 3 issue of New England Journal of Medicine describes two cases where patients with advanced melanoma died of heart trouble two weeks after receiving their first doses of Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab). One patient was a 65-year-old woman who died following a rapid heartbeat and organ failure, while the other patient was a 63-year-old man who died after two rounds of sudden cardiac arrest. With a heart attack, blood flow to the heart is blocked and tissue damage occurs, while in the case of sudden cardiac arrest the heart suddenly stops ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Opdivo, Keytruda, Tecentriq, Yervoy, Nivolumab, Pembrolizumab, Campath, Lemtrada, Ipilimumab, Alemtuzumab, Atezolizumab

Arthritis Possible Side Effect of Certain Cancer Drugs: Study

Posted 29 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 – Certain cancer immunotherapy drugs may increase risk for joint and tissue disease, including arthritis, new research suggests. "We keep having referrals coming in from our oncologists as more patients are treated with these drugs," said Dr. Clifton Bingham, director of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore. "In particular, as more patients are treated with combinations of multiple immunotherapies, we expect the rate to go up," he said in a Hopkins news release. Drugs like ipilimumab and nivolumab are called checkpoint inhibitor drugs. Between 2012 and 2016, 13 patients given these drugs at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center (1.3 percent of the total using them) developed new-onset arthritis, or autoimmune disorders that cause dry eyes and mouth, the researchers said. However, further research is needed to confirm a cause-and-effect relationship, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Opdivo, Yervoy, Nivolumab, Ipilimumab

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, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, 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, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin, Claravis, Tarceva, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, BCG, Tasigna, Revlimid, Hydroxyurea, Sprycel, Herceptin

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) + Yervoy (ipilimumab) Regimen Receives Expanded FDA Approval in Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma Across BRAF Status

Posted 24 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

PRINCETON, N.J., January 23, 2016 --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab) for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type and BRAF V600 mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma.1 This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on progression-free survival (PFS).1 Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.1 This approval expands the original indication for the Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma to include patients, regardless of BRAF mutational status, based on data from the Phase 3 CheckMate -067 trial, in which PFS and overall ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Opdivo, Yervoy, Nivolumab, Ipilimumab

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, Gemzar, Oxaliplatin, Treanda, Capecitabine, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

FDA Approves Expanded Use for Melanoma Drug

Posted 29 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2015 – The melanoma drug Yervoy (ipilimumab) can now be used to reduce the risk of the deadly skin cancer returning after surgery, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. The expanded use of this intravenous drug is an adjunct therapy for patients with stage 3 melanoma, in which the cancer has reached one or more lymph nodes. Patients with this stage of melanoma typically have surgery to remove melanoma skin tumors and nearby lymph nodes, according to an FDA news release. Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin cancer. The "approval of Yervoy extends its use to patients who are at high risk of developing recurrence of melanoma after surgery," Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA's Office of Hematology and Oncology Products at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the news release. ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Yervoy, Ipilimumab

FDA Approves Yervoy to Reduce the Risk of Melanoma Returning after Surgery

Posted 28 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

October 28, 2015 – Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approved use of Yervoy (ipilimumab) to include a new use as adjuvant therapy for patients with stage III melanoma, to lower the risk that the melanoma will return following surgery. Melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer, is the leading cause of death from skin cancer. Melanoma is more likely to spread to other parts of the body than other forms of skin cancer and has been on the rise over the past several decades, according to the National Cancer Institute, with an estimated 73,870 new cases and 9,940 deaths from the disease this year. In stage III melanoma, the cancer has reached one or more lymph nodes. Patients with stage III melanoma are generally treated by surgery to remove the melanoma skin lesions and the nearby lymph nodes. “Today’s approval of Yervoy extends its use to patients who are at ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Yervoy, Ipilimumab

BMS Receives FDA Approval for Opdivo (nivolumab) + Yervoy (ipilimumab) Regimen in BRAF V600 Wild-Type Melanoma

Posted 1 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

PRINCETON, N.J., October 1, 2015 --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab), for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma.1 Today’s announcement marks the first and only FDA approval of a Regimen of two Immuno-Oncology agents in cancer. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response.1 Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.1 The approval is based on data from the pivotal study, CheckMate -069, which was the first to report outcomes of the Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen in previously untreated patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. R ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Opdivo, Yervoy, Nivolumab, Ipilimumab

Finding Disease Cures Can Take Up to a Century: Analysis

Posted 24 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2015 – A team of scientists has looked back over decades of discovery to conclude that it can take dozens of years, even a century, for cumulative research to lead to a cure for a single disease. The finding is disheartening given the current U.S. government underfunding of the basic science needed to investigate diseases, said a team led by Dr. R. Sanders Williams, president of the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institutes, a biomedical research organization. "As shown by our analysis, new treatments depend upon a broad base of scientific knowledge plus special contributions from a few exceptional scientists," Williams said in an institute news release. For anyone suffering from an illness, the dream word is "cure." True cures for disease remain rare, though. But, in the new study the Gladstone team traced the long investigative paths linking generations of ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer, Heart Failure, Parkinson's Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, Type 1, Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Yervoy, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Orkambi, Ipilimumab, Kalydeco, Ivacaftor/lumacaftor, Ivacaftor

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

Immune-Focused Drugs Show Promise Against Melanoma

Posted 20 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 20, 2015 – Drugs that supercharge the body's immune system show promise in treating advanced melanoma, according to a pair of clinical trials. The trials both involve drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors, which essentially prod the immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells, said Dr. Suzanne Topalian, director of the Melanoma Program at Johns Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. In one trial, researchers found that an immune checkpoint inhibitor called Keytruda (pembrolizumab) outperformed the current frontline treatment for advanced melanoma, another immune-boosting drug called Yervoy (ipilimumab). The other trial showed that patients responded better to a combination of two different types of immune checkpoint inhibitors than to Yervoy used on its own. Both trials were slated for presentation Monday in Philadelphia at the annual ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, Yervoy

Children of Melanoma Survivors Often Get Sunburned: Study

Posted 16 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 – Common wisdom holds that adults who've experienced the trauma of melanoma would go to greater lengths to shield their children from the sun's rays. But a new study shows that nearly half of parents who were also melanoma survivors said their child had experienced a sunburn over the previous year. "Sunburns were common among the children in our study despite their elevated risk for skin cancer," study author Dr. Beth Glenn, an associate professor of health policy and management at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release. Sunburn is a major risk for the most deadly type of skin cancer, and children of survivors are at increased risk for developing the disease as adults, Glenn team noted. They surveyed 300 white and Hispanic melanoma survivors with children aged 17 or younger. The parents were asked about their attitudes towards ... Read more

Related support groups: Sunburn, Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Opdivo, Keytruda, Yervoy

Combo Treatment for Advanced Melanoma Seems to Improve Survival

Posted 4 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 4, 2014 – Patients with advanced melanoma may live longer when treated with a combination of the cancer drug Yervoy and the immune system booster sargramostim, a new study finds. Patients given the two drugs had a median survival of 17.5 months, compared to 12.7 months for those on Yervoy (ipilimumab) alone. At one year, overall survival was nearly 69 percent for those on the combination therapy, versus 53 percent for those on Yervoy alone, the researchers said. "Patients did live longer, as well as having less serious side effects, when given the combination," said lead researcher Dr. F. Stephen Hodi, an assistant professor of medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. In the United States, more than 12,000 people die from advanced melanoma each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Yervoy, Leukine, Sargramostim

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, Clindamycin, Penicillin, Methotrexate, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Levaquin, Augmentin, Lupron, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

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