The Lynx Group

August 2016, Vol 7, No 7, Special Issue: Payers’ Perspectives in Oncology

Extending aromatase inhibitor therapy with letrozole for an additional 5 years beyond standard treatment with letrozole improved disease-free survival (DFS) and reduced the rate of new contralateral breast cancer in postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer.
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Atezolizumab (Tecentriq) shows promise as primary therapy in patients with cisplatin-ineligible, locally advanced metastatic urothelial (bladder) cancer, according to data from the IMvigor210 study presented at ASCO 2016.
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A gene-expression signature assay called ColDx (Almac Diagnostics) successfully identified high-risk patients with stage II colon cancer who would benefit from chemotherapy, according to results of a new, prospective analysis of the previously published phase 3 Alliance C9581 clinical trial.
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Ongoing clinical trials at academic centers around the country are testing a new strategy of matching available targeted therapies to molecular abnormalities in tumors instead of treating the cancer site.
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In addition to affecting patient well-being and quality of life, financial toxicity has been shown to worsen survival outcomes because of nonadherence to drug therapy. Although policy interventions, improvements in benefit designs, and adjustments to reimbursement may help reduce costs for patients in the long-term, immediate changes are needed to alleviate financial burden, said Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, of the Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC, at ASCO 2016.
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An economic analysis of oncology regimens that were previously evaluated in trials conducted by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute has shown that the transition from branded to generic drug costs has a considerable impact on the cost-effectiveness and cost-utility of treatment.
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Aggressive end-of-life care for patients with terminal cancer and other illnesses is costly and not recommended. ASCO recommends that patients with terminal cancer should receive palliative care rather than interventions that do not prolong life but do add to suffering.
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Oral and poster presentations of several promising agents in early- and late-phase clinical trials dotted the program at ASCO 2016. The presentations included studies with positive findings associated with many investigational therapies, including first-in-class therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells for the treatment of patients with B-cell malignancies or acute myeloid leukemia (AML); a vaccine (galinpepimut-S) for the treatment of patients with AML; and a chimeric monoclonal antibody against claudin 18.2 for the treatment of patients with advanced gastric cancers.
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The first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T) may be a new treatment option for patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), which has a very poor prognosis and few treatment options. Rova-T is particularly promising in SCLC tumors that overexpress the delta-like (DLL) 3 protein, according to first-in-human study results presented at ASCO 2016.
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