The Lynx Group

December 2020, Vol 11, No 6

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many of the cracks in our healthcare system. According to Maurie Markman, MD, MS, FACP, FASCO, President, Medicine and Science, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, COVID-19 disproportionately affects the elderly, those with comorbidities, and racial and ethnic minority populations, all of whom are more likely to have serious or fatal illness. At the 10th Annual Summit of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC) in 2020, Dr Markman served as a co-moderator of a session about minority representation in clinical trials.
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Greg Simon, JD, led the Cancer Moonshot program for the Obama administration, raising $1.8 billion in new funding for cancer research and the development of new cancer programs. In 2017, Joe Biden called on him to serve as President of the Biden Cancer Initiative. Mr Simon is also a survivor of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a consultant and public speaker at Simonovation, LLC, and one of the thought leaders in cancer care.
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In an environment of increasing vertical and horizontal integration in healthcare, are new value-based care models in oncology—such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ pilot payment project, the Oncology Care Model (OCM)—working? Five years from now, will we still be talking about efforts to go from volume to value using alternative payment models?
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The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred adjustments to the current Oncology Care Model (OCM) and is also affecting considerations for future models, according to Lara Strawbridge, MPH, Director, Division of Ambulatory Payment Models, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, who delivered the keynote address at the 2020 NCCN Oncology Policy Summit.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on cancer care delivery in the United States—for the worse, but also for the better. Although access to high-quality care has certainly been compromised, the pandemic has also driven innovation, according to information presented at the 2020 ASCO Quality Care Symposium by experts who discussed recent healthcare transformations from the perspectives of community oncology and a larger healthcare system.
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Myriad new treatment options have extended the survival and improved the quality of life for patients with cancer, but these options are also increasing the complexity of care.
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Protecting patients with cancer from financial hardship could save more than money. According to data presented at the 2020 ASCO Quality Care Symposium, mitigating the financial burden of cancer treatment on patients could save lives as well.
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Lorlatinib (Lorbrena) significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) and intracranial response rates compared with the former standard of care, crizotinib (Xalkori), as first-line treatment for patients with advanced ALK-positive non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as reported in a planned interim analysis of the CROWN trial.
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First-line treatment with the high-affinity, highly potent PD-1 inhibitor cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo) significantly improved overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) compared with standard platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and PD ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression on at least 50% of tumor cells. The results of the second preplanned interim analysis of the phase 3 EMPOWER-Lung 1 clinical trial were presented at the 2020 virtual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).
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In April 2020, the FDA granted accelerated approval to pemigatinib (Pemazyre), the first targeted therapy for cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). The FGFR inhibitor was approved for adults with CCA and FGFR2 fusion.
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