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.

With better understanding of the biological underpinnings of cancer, precision medicine has evolved beyond a mere concept to an actual, real-world pursuit.
Dr. Stainthorpe shares his belief that when it comes to care decisions, oncology patients should be provided with information about the benefits/outcomes/consequences and cost of their care.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is readily curable, even in the most advanced cases. Nevertheless, the treatment of DLBCL can be a challenge, according to Laurie H. Sehn, MD, MPH, FRCPC, a medical oncologist at the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada, who discussed DLBCL at ASH 2012.

Dr. Michael Kolodziej talks about many pilots he is currently working on to improve patient outcomes.

Chicago, IL—A family history of cancer is not always documented by primary care or specialty practices, even though the identification of family cancer history is an integral feature of high-risk screening guidelines, according to data from a pilot project.

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. For patients with stage I colon cancer, surgery is the treatment of choice, whereas for stage III disease, patients receive adjuvant chemotherapy. For patients with stage II disease, however, the best approach to the therapy has not been well-defined.

In children who are at risk for Wilms tumor, the presence of a rare genetic abnormality identifies children who can have a survival benefit from the augmentation or intensification of therapy.
Washington, DC—Cancer is now recognized as a disease of the genome. The use of genomic assays and measurement of protein expression are permitting the use of personalized cancer therapy in the clinical setting on a scale not seen previously. In many cases, the use of these assays will also enhance the cost-effectiveness of cancer therapy, although the overall cost of cancer care may not decline as a result, said Gerald Messerschmidt, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer, Precision for Medicine, at the Sixth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care.

Chicago, IL—“Economic evaluations of personalized medicine should incorporate the cost of testing for biomarkers,” said Natasha B. Leighl, MD, medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, during a session on the cost of treating non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at ASCO 2012.

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