ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL—Inappropriate deviation from evidence-based standards of care for cancer raises costs in excess of $25,000 per patient, stated Arlene A. Forastiere, MD, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at eviti, Inc, Philadelphia, PA, in a poster presented at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

In Dr Forastiere’s review of oncology treatment plans for 2544 patients, approximately 25% of the patients had treatment plans that did not conform to evidence-based standards.

Chicago, IL—Previous trials of maintenance therapy for patients with ovarian cancer have failed to show improved survival. A study presented at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting is the first successful phase 3 trial in this setting, showing that the targeted therapy pazopanib (Votrient) extended progression-free survival (PFS) by a median of 5.6 months in women with ovarian cancer. Women enrolled in the trial were free of disease after initial treatment with surgery and chemotherapy.

Chicago, IL—For years, the cancer research community has pushed for the use of surrogate end points in clinical trials as a means of hastening the drug approval process. These efforts will soon bear fruit, with the anticipated release by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of its final guidance to drug manufacturers for accelerated drug approval for neoadjuvant breast cancer therapies. At the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, the speakers discussed the potential implications for researchers, providers, and patients.

Chicago, IL—Adding bevacizumab (Avastin) to standard chemotherapy improves overall survival (OS) in women with metastatic or relapsed cervical cancer, representing the first instance in which a targeted therapy has significantly prolonged OS in this patient population.

Chicago, IL—Data continue to build for the application of immunotherapy for patients with metastatic melanoma. At the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), several sessions were devoted to recent advances in melanoma, focusing on new ways to boost the activity of current therapies, introducing a new class of immunotherapy in development, and a new form of immunotherapy—an oncolytic vaccine.

Chicago, IL—Canadian researchers reported a finding at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncol ogy meeting that runs contrary to what other researchers have ob served in the majority of studies. In this study, as oral drug costs increased, so did the likelihood of patients adhering to a prescribed regimen.

Chicago, IL—The novel androgen receptor–signaling inhibitor enzalutamide, also known as MDV3100, significantly prolonged overall survival (OS), slowed disease progression, and improved quality-of-life (QOL) measures in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer after docetaxel failure, according to results from a large phase 3 clinical trial.

Approximately 1 in 5 patients with cancer who are undergoing radiotherapy as part of their treatment can count on unexpected hospital stays—adding an economic and clinical burden on the patient and on the healthcare system, according to an analysis by Nabeel H. Arastu, BS, and colleagues at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, which was presented at the 2012 ASCO meeting.

Chicago, IL—Older patients with cancer and Medicare coverage often incur greater out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses compared with their counterparts without cancer. Factors contributing to the greater expenses for those patients include comorbidities and lack of supplemental insurance. As a result, older patients often hesitate to seek treatment for cancer because of financial concerns, according to a study presented by Amy J.

Chicago, IL—In a cohort of patients at risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), the majority were willing to pay some out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses for genetic testing, Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers reported in a poster that was presented at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting and earned an ASCO Merit Award.

“These participants are fearful of a positive result and anticipate benefits afforded by genetic testing in controlling cancer risk,” said Jennifer M. Matro, MD, a medical oncology fellow at Fox Chase in Philadelphia.

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