The Lynx Group

February 2012, Vol 3, No 1

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common cause of serious morbidity and mortality, and patients with cancer are at particular risk. “VTE has a substantial burden on the current US medical system.
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In the first comparative trial of its kind, the Catheter-Directed Venous Thrombolysis (CaVenT) study determined that treating a clot directly with the recombinant, antithrombotic agent alteplase reduced the frequency of postthrombotic syndrome (PTS) and improved long-term outcome in patients with proximal deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) compared with standard anticoagulation methods.
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Few analyses to date have assessed the long-term costs associated with the management of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). At ASH 2011, Shrividya Iyer, PhD, of Pfizer, presented results of a retrospective analysis performed by a group of researchers at Pfizer and the Eliassen Group that looked at information from the Thomson Reuters MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database, and the Medicare Supplemental Database.
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The first-generation proteasome inhibitor bortezomib changed the treatment paradigm of multiple myeloma. Data are now maturing for the next-generation agent carfilzomib, with US Food and Drug Administration approval expected soon. Several novel agents in this class are also in the pipeline.
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The novel agent blinatumomab more than doubled the complete response (CR) rate in patients with relapsed/refractory B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) compared with standard therapies.
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Preliminary data from the phase 2 PACE (Ponatinib Ph+ALL and CML Evaluation) trial show that ponatinib (Ariad Pharmaceuticals) can overcome the difficult-to-treat T315I mutation in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
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A large, ongoing Canadian study provides an overview of the cost of managing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). “Our study provides total and stage-specific cost estimates for NHL, where attributable costs were 3- to 7-fold higher than those for non-NHL controls, and increased by stage,” said Pierre K. Isogai, BSc, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
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Instituting guidelines-based test ordering could lead to more effective, accurate, and complete diagnosis and monitoring of hematolymphoid malignancies, while reducing costs, according to hematopathologists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, who said that tests were frequently overordered by their hematologists.
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A new cost analysis of the management of the 3 subtypes of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs)—myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, and essential thrombocythemia—shows that associated medical and pharmaceutical expenses for patients with these hematologic disorders in patients with cancer are 2 to 6 times that of matched patients without cancer.
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San Francisco, CA—A serum-based enzyme immunoassay using the PAM4 antibody, combined with the serum marker CA19-9, detected stage I pancreatic cancer in nearly two thirds of patients analyzed in a study presented at the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.
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