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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, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Femara, Lupron Depot, 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, BCG, Revlimid, Tasigna, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Zytiga

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, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin

Early Chemo May Boost Survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer

Posted 14 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 – Starting the chemotherapy drug docetaxel at the same time as hormone therapy can improve survival for men with newly diagnosed, advanced prostate cancer, British researchers say. Currently, chemotherapy is generally given after hormone therapy stops working. But the new study found that when the two therapies were paired at the start of treatment, patients lived an average of 10 months longer. The combination had even greater benefits for men whose prostate cancer had spread to other parts of their bodies – known as "metastatic" cancer. These men experienced an average 22-month improvement in their overall survival, the findings showed. "We hope our findings will encourage doctors to offer docetaxel to men newly diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, if they are healthy enough for chemotherapy," said lead author Dr. Nicholas James, director of the Cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Lupron Depot, Reclast, Zoladex, Zytiga, Zometa, Taxotere, Lupron Depot 3.75 mg, Eligard, Aclasta, Zoledronic Acid, Xtandi, Leuprolide, Lupron Depot-PED, Degarelix, Trelstar, Docetaxel, Abiraterone, Supprelin

Too Few Prostate Cancer Patients Get Bone-Strengthening Meds: Study

Posted 3 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 – Many men on hormone therapy for prostate cancer aren't getting bone-strengthening drugs they may need, new Canadian research contends. Hormone therapy, which suppresses male hormones called androgens, helps stop cancer cells from growing. But one consequence of the treatment is weakening of the bones, which can lead to fractures. To reduce this risk, men can be given oral bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, or an intravenous treatment once a month or once a year with similar drugs, such as Reclast. "There seems to be a clear mismatch between Canadian guidelines regarding bisphosphonate usage in men undergoing hormone therapy for prostate cancer and actual clinical practice," said lead researcher Dr. Shabbir Alibhai, a senior scientist at the University Health Network in Toronto. While the low rates of bisphosphonate prescriptions may be appropriate for patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Fosamax, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Femara, Lupron Depot, Boniva, Isotretinoin, Alendronate, Claravis, Anastrozole, Reclast, Evista, Zoladex

Hormone Therapy May Up Heart-Related Deaths in Some Prostate Cancer Patients

Posted 29 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29, 2014 – Giving hormone therapy to men with prostate cancer who also have certain heart problems may increase their odds of dying from a heart-related cause, a new study suggests. The therapy in question is called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). It's used in prostate cancer to reduce levels of male hormones to prevent the growth of cancer cells, according to the study. And, in the current research, this hormone therapy was linked to triple the risk of heart-related death in men with heart failure or in those who had a previous heart attack, researchers found. "ADT is a mainstay of prostate cancer therapy, but may not be the best option for all men," said lead researcher, David Ziehr, a medical student at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Among men with heart failure or a past heart attack, ADT was associated with a 5 percent absolute increased risk of death from ... Read more

Related support groups: Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Lupron Depot, Zoladex, Zytiga, Casodex, Lupron Depot 3.75 mg, Eligard, Bicalutamide, Xtandi, Leuprolide, Degarelix, Lupron Depot-PED, Supprelin, Trelstar, Abiraterone, Vantas, Firmagon, Goserelin, Flutamide

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, Augmentin, Levaquin, Lupron, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

New Guidelines for Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer

Posted 8 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 – Men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer often turn first to testosterone-depleting therapies, since male hormones help prostate tumors grow. But, those therapies almost always fail over time as the tumor develops resistance, according to oncologists. Now, experts are issuing updated guidelines to help patients in this situation decide what to do next. The guidelines, issued jointly by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) in Canada, highlight recent advances in treating this more advanced form of prostate cancer. "We have seen unprecedented progress against advanced prostate cancer recently, with six new treatments approved in the last couple of years," Dr. Ethan Basch, co-chair of the ASCO/CCO panel of experts that developed the guidelines, said in a news release from the two groups. "There are a lot of nuances about ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Ketoconazole, Zytiga, Nizoral, Casodex, Taxotere, Bicalutamide, Xtandi, Provenge, Docetaxel, Abiraterone, Xofigo, Flutamide, Cabazitaxel, Jevtana, Sipuleucel-t, Radium 223 Dichloride, Nilutamide, Nilandron, Docefrez

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, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Femara, Lupron Depot, Gleevec, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis, Votrient, Anastrozole, Tarceva

FDA Expands Zytiga’s Use for Late-Stage Prostate Cancer

Posted 10 Dec 2012 by Drugs.com

December 10, 2012 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) to treat men with late-stage (metastatic) castration-resistant prostate cancer prior to receiving chemotherapy. The FDA initially approved Zytiga in April 2011 for use in patients whose prostate cancer progressed after treatment with docetaxel, a chemotherapy drug. Zytiga is a pill that decreases the production of male sex hormone testosterone. In prostate cancer, testosterone stimulates prostate tumors to grow. Drugs or surgery are used to reduce testosterone production or to block testosterone’s effects. Some men have castration-resistant prostate cancer, meaning the prostate cancer cells continue to grow even with low levels of testosterone. “Today’s approval demonstrates the benefit of further evaluating a drug in an earlier disease setting and provides patie ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Zytiga, Abiraterone

Zytiga's Use Expanded for Advanced Prostate Cancer

Posted 10 Dec 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 10 – U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) has been expanded to include treating late-stage castration-resistant prostate cancer before the administration of chemotherapy, the agency said Monday. The drug, designed to decrease production of the male sex hormone testosterone, was first approved in November 2011. Testosterone is thought to spur the growth of prostate tumors, the FDA said in a news release. Zytiga's approval for the new use followed a clinical study of 1,088 men with advanced, castration-resistant prostate cancer who hadn't received chemotherapy. Men who took Zytiga had a median survival of 35.3 months, compared to 30.1 months among those who took a placebo. The most common adverse reactions included fatigue, swollen joints, hot flushes, diarrhea, vomiting, cough and high blood pressure. Zytiga is marketed by Janssen ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Zytiga, Abiraterone

Taking Breaks From Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy Seems Safe: Study

Posted 5 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 – Stop-and-start hormone-deprivation therapy for localized prostate cancer doesn't shorten overall survival compared to continuous treatments, and yields fewer side effects such as impotence and hot flashes, a large new study suggests. A team of Canadian, British and American researchers found that intermittent hormone treatments – which suppress circulating male hormones such as testosterone that "feed" prostate tumors – don't increase the risk of disease progression. Intermittent treatment also doesn't increase the chances that patients whose prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels are slowly rising will eventually die from prostate cancer. "There has been a lot of work [in this area] over the last two decades, so we figured there would be an improvement in quality of life and hoping there was no detriment to survival," said study author Dr. Juanita Crook, ... Read more

Related support groups: Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Lupron Depot, Zoladex, Zytiga, Casodex, Lupron Depot 3.75 mg, Eligard, Bicalutamide, Leuprolide, Degarelix, Lupron Depot-PED, Abiraterone, Supprelin, Trelstar, Goserelin, Firmagon, Vantas, Supprelin LA, Trelstar LA

Advanced Prostate Cancer Drug May Help at Earlier Stage

Posted 16 May 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 16 – A drug approved to treat advanced prostate cancer appears to help men who have localized high-risk prostate cancer if given before surgery. Adding Zytiga (abiraterone) to conventional hormonal treatments eliminated or nearly eliminated the prostate cancer in one-third of men with this often-lethal form, according to new research to be presented at next month's annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. "This is one of the first – if not the first – study to show that you can make prostate cancer in the prostate gland itself disappear in a reproducible number of patients," ASCO official Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang said at a Wednesday press conference. Commenting on the findings, Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, said, "This is exciting. It's a novel way to eliminate cancer before ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Zytiga, Abiraterone

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

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