The Lynx Group

October 2012, Vol 3, No 7

Vienna, Austria—More support for the continuation of treatment with bevacizumab beyond disease progression in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer was reported at the 2012 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress, validating a small but growing body of pre­vious data.
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“Non–small cell is the most common type of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States,” said Mark A. Socinski, MD, Director, Lung Cancer Section, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Pittsburgh, and lead investigator of phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials of paclitaxel protein-bound in lung cancer.
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Pertuzumab, the third HER2-targeted agent with a unique mechanism of action, was approved in July 2012 by the FDA for the treatment of metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer in combination with trastuzumab plus docetaxel.
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Montreal, Canada—Telemedicine reduces time spent on new-patient consultations for palliative radiotherapy, according to a study presented at the 2012 World Cancer Congress.
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Toronto, Canada—The first-ever analysis of Medicare payments for head and neck tumors shows that comorbidities and treatment choices are the primary drivers of the costs of each type of cancer; the study results were presented at the 2012 International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer.
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Albuquerque, NM—Using yoga and other integrative medicine and complementary therapies can cut oncology-related inpatient costs by more than $150 per day as a result of the reduced need for pain medications, anxiolytics, and antiemetics, according to a recent study conducted at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
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Houston, TX—With the onslaught of drugs that will target genetic subsets of patients, companion diagnostic testing will become vitally important, said Jane F. Barlow, MD, MPH, MBA, Vice President of Clinical Innovation, Medco Health Solutions (now Express Scripts), New York, who spoke on personalized medicine during the 2012 Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care.
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Houston, TX—A wealth of new agents and abundant clinical trial data supporting their use have led to multiple “acceptable” evidence-based options for treating tumors.
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Houston, TX—To eliminate coverage inconsistencies and enhance relationships with providers, health plans should have specific policies for dealing with off-label use of oncologic drugs, said Kristen M. Reimers, RPh, Specialty Pharmacy Director and Clinical Operations Manager for Excellus Health Plans.
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San Francisco, CA—An analysis of a large claims database showed that patients with breast cancer had fewer delays in chemotherapy and maintained better adherence to their regimens when treated with the 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist palonosetron (Aloxi) than with other agents in this antiemetic class.
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