The Lynx Group

September 2010, Vol 1, No 4



Prostate cancer patients have 2 new therapeutic options this summer with the approvals of sipuleucel-T and cabazitaxel. The former drug is an important scientific advance as one of the pioneering cancer vaccines to show a prolongation of survival.
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Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) and cabazitaxel (Jevtana) have drawn much attention both for being the first new treatments for advanced prostate cancer since docetaxel (Taxotere) was approved in 2004, and for their high costs. As described in Dr Newcomer’s accompanying piece, they will add significantly to the cost of care for prostate cancer patients.
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Several sessions at the recent ASCO meeting considered new standards for community-based oncology research and the development of comparative effectiveness research (CER) methods.
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Virtually all patients that succumb to prostate cancer die of metastatic castration-resistant disease (CRPC). Docetaxel, the standard of care for these patients, provides a modest prolongation of survival, but there is an urgent need for novel treatment strategies.
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Boston, MA—The work of 3 Harvard Medical School researchers presented at June’s AcademyHealth Conference provided a snapshot of how cancer care outcomes compare between the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the fee-for-service Medicare community.
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Over the past decade, polarized opinion has abounded regarding robot-assisted laparoscopy. On one side, many of the surgeons who pioneered the use of the da Vinci surgical robot (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) in Germany and the United States described it as “revolutionary,” heralding “a new era,” and creating a “paradigm shift.”
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On July 14, 2010, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services issued interim final rules for group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide detail on how those entities are to cover the preventive services required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
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Cost-related factors are a chief reason for patients declining to participate in a clinical trial, a survey of 4 community oncology practices showed.
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