The Lynx Group

March 2015, Vol 6, No 2


Orlando, FL—Experts are hopeful that the field of prostate cancer will soon be catching up to breast cancer and some other tumor types with regard to genomic markers. A study featured at the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium sug­­gests that the an­drogen receptor (AR) abnormality known as “AR-V7” will turn out to be a predictive marker to help in treatment selection for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate can­­cer (CRPC).
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Although often criticized as being overly expensive, innovations in drug development for hematologic malignancies meet standard benchmarks for cost-effectiveness, delivering value for their cost, suggest a team of health economics researchers led by Peter J. Neumann, ScD, Director, the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health, Tufts Medical Center, Boston (Saret CJ, et al. Blood. 2015 Feb 5. Epub ahead of print).
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Orlando, FL—Surprisingly, the use of adjuvant sorafenib (Nexavar) and sunitinib (Sutent) failed to extend disease­-free survival (DFS) in patients with locally advanced kidney cancer who are at high risk for recurrence, according to initial results of the ASSURE study. The ASSURE trial is the first and largest study investigating the use of adjuvant tyrosine kinase inhibitors/vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors in kidney cancer.
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Late last year, the American ­Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) issued a policy statement on Medicaid reform, with recommendations on ensuring quality of care for all patients with cancer, including the underserved population, while also improving provider reimbursement to ensure value-based care. ASCO’s poicy statement advocates for the expansion of Medicaid coverage to all Americans with cancer, an increase in Medicaid pay­­ment rates to reach those of Medicare, and a greater emphasis on rewarding providers for the delivery of quality care.
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Gastric cancer and lung cancer impose a substantial burden on patients. In light of the high mortality rate and quality-of-life issues associated with these 2 types of cancer, there is a marked need for additional therapeutic options to improve outcomes for patients with gastric or lung cancer.
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Timothy Sherwood, MD, the thoracic surgeon who was featured in Part 2 of this series, referred Alberta Hickman for prehabilitation before operating on her after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Alberta received her care at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, VA, which recently adopted the STAR Program, a best practices cancer rehabilitation model of care. The medical team published Alberta’s story as a case report, because she did so well and her physical function improved after surgery compared with her baseline status before the operation. Moreover, she had a shorter-than-usual hospital length of stay for this type of surgery. This is Alberta’s perspective about cancer prehabilitation in her own words.
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San Antonio, TX—Adding an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) to best supportive care failed to demonstrate noninferiority for progression-free survival (PFS) compared with best supportive care alone in patients with metastatic breast cancer, in a clinical trial known as EPO-ANE-3010 that was requested by the FDA.
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San Antonio, TX—Results of a new nutrition study show that women who reduced their intake of dietary fat for 5 years after being diagnosed with early breast cancer had significantly lower rates of death from all causes compared with controls, at 15 years of follow-up; this reduction was seen specifically in women with hormone receptor (HR)-­negative breast cancer. No long-term effect of dietary fat reduction on mortality was observed in women with HR-positive breast cancer. The results of the study, called Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS), were presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
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Disease progression is slower and overall survival (OS) is greater in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who are being monitored for their response to tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy and show good adherence. However, few clinicians monitor response and adherence to oral TKI treatment in patients with CML.
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