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Women who carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation had an 80% reduction in risk for ovarian, fallopian tube, or breast cancer if they underwent preventive oophorectomy, according to a large prospective study, and a 77% reduction in all-cause mortality (Finch AP, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2014 February 24 [Epub ahead of print]).
San Diego, CA—The use of virtual patient vignettes to improve adherence to a breast cancer clinical pathway identified correctable variances from a breast cancer clinical pathway with the potential to reduce the cost of care by several million dollars, according to the results of a pilot study reported at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Care Symposium.
Scottsdale, AZ—Definitive chemoradiation with single-agent outpatient chemotherapy for head and neck cancer led to disease control and survival equivalent to that of inpatient multi-agent therapy, at an annualized savings of almost $650,000, according to results of a small randomized trial presented at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.
The American Cancer Society has recommended annual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as an adjunct to mammography for breast cancer screening in women who have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of approximately 25% to ≥50%, as determined by models such as the Gail risk test. A new simulated clinical trial evaluated the cost-effectiveness of using 7 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (7SNPs) in combination with the Gail test to assess the cost-benefit of annual MRI screening in women at risk for breast cancer (Folse HJ, et al. Cancer Prev Res [Phila]. 2013;6:1328-1336).
At the end of February, I had the opportunity to attend the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)14 Annual Conference, which was held in Orlando, FL. Attended by more than 30,000 committed vendors, healthcare administrators, providers, politicians, scientists, and others, the meeting provided a great deal of insight into the health information community’s past accomplishments, the present state of the art, and expectations for the future.
San Francisco, CA—Many molecularly targeted agents that inhibit different pathways of hepatocarcinogenesis are under development, and novel targets are being assessed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), said Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD, Director, Liver Cancer Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, at the 2014 Gastro­intestinal Cancers Symposium.
Scottsdale, AZ—The addition of chemotherapy to irradiation proved superior to accelerated radiotherapy without systemic therapy in a randomized trial of patients with advanced head and neck cancer.
New Orleans, LA—The efficiency of rituximab (Rituxan) and the associated cost can be improved by switching from intravenous (IV) to subcutaneous (SC) administration. Such a switch led to a substantial reduction in patient chair time and in active healthcare professional time, said Christof Wiesner, PhD, MPH, of the Market Access Department, Genentech, San Francisco, CA, at the ASH 2013 meeting.
San Francisco, CA—Concerns that healthcare utilization will increase dramatically once more patients are insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be overblown, based on results of a large study of Medicaid and underinsured patients with seminoma, the most common type of tes­ticular cancer.
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  • Value-Based Care in Myeloma
  • Value-Based Care in Neurology