Genomic testing is now standard of care for patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The 4 identified genomic mutations that are targetable with FDA-approved therapies include EGFR, ALK, ROS1, and BRAF, and other NSCLC-associated genetic mutations are targetable with therapies currently being investigated in clinical trials. More genetic mutations are linked to NSCLC, but there is currently no accepted standard for genomic testing in NSCLC, or the optimal timing of such tests.
Poly (ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors are among the new and improved classes of cancer drugs, but their steep costs have become a critical consideration for patients and clinicians. The results of a recent analysis suggest that PARP inhibitors may be the least cost-effective of available maintenance therapies for advanced ovarian cancer. According to data presented at ASCO 2018, to become cost-neutral with anti-VEGF therapy, PARP inhibitors would require at least a 50% reduction in cost.
Healthcare costs in the United States have spiraled out of control, and polls show that single-payer healthcare is gaining traction. Our Canadian neighbors have had a single-payer system for a long time. A study presented at ASCO 2018 puts exact numbers on what it costs to receive treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) in demographically similar populations in Washington State versus British Columbia, geographic areas separated by a line of sand but vastly different in terms of "bang for the buck" in cancer care.
With healthcare premiums on the rise and out-of-pocket costs skyrocketing, almost every person diagnosed with cancer is at risk for being underinsured, but this threat extends beyond a patient's bank balance. Recent research has shown that when patients face extreme financial distress, they have a greater risk for worse outcomes, including mortality. At ASCO 2018, Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, Director, Center for Applied Cancer Health Policy, Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC, discussed the need to prevent financial toxicity at the patient level by focusing on high-­value interventions.
Allergic rhinitis is a common immune-mediated health condition that affects up to 60 million Americans annually. A chronic, inflammatory disease of the upper airways, allergic rhinitis can significantly affect patients’ quality of life (QOL) and productivity.
Chicago, IL—The issues underlying financial toxicity are undoubtedly complex, but for oncologists looking to help their patients cope, simply noting the cost of treatment from the outset may be the best place to start. As the cost of cancer care continues to rise, greater transparency throughout the process of drug pricing and drug payment needs to become part of the clinical discussion, said Leonard Saltz, MD, Chief, Gastrointestinal Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting.
Chicago, IL—Providing relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness can significantly reduce the cost of care in addition to improving the patient experience.
Chicago, IL—The use of an online tool to self-report symptoms during treatment for metastatic cancer extended survival by 5 months compared with usual care according to a study presented at ASCO 2017. In addition, online self-reporting of symptoms improved quality of life (QOL) and reduced emergency department visits and hospitalizations versus usual care.
Chicago, IL—Although the cost of novel oncology drugs continues to rise, their clinical benefit has not managed to keep pace, suggesting a decrease in value over time.
Chicago, IL—Disclosing the financial risks of cancer treatment to patients may be easier said than done. According to a study from Penn Medicine, patients’ fear of socioeconomic profiling and doctors’ conflicts of interest are barriers to routine bedside conversations about cost.
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