Lung Cancer Dispatch
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News for Patients and Physicians
Curated by Cancer Commons
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What Cancer Costs You Later: $4,000 a Year

What Cancer Costs You Later: $4,000 a Year | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Having cancer is bad enough. And the lifetime consequences have been well-documented — a higher risk of other cancers, heart disease and general weakness from the treatment.


"Now a new federal study shows there’s a financial burden too — on average, $4,000 a year for men and $3,000 for women over and above what people who haven’t had cancer spend.


"And that’s just direct medical costs. Cancer survivors also have thousands in lost productivity, from having to cut work hours or even quit their jobs, the report finds."

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NBC News  |  Jun 12, 2014

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 16, 2014 2:20 PM

NBC News  |  Jun 12, 2014

Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 16, 2014 2:20 PM

NBC News  |  Jun 12, 2014

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IMS Study Shows Cancer Treatment Costs Driven Up by 340B Drug Pricing Program

IMS Study Shows Cancer Treatment Costs Driven Up by 340B Drug Pricing Program | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics issued a detailed report titled, 'Innovations in Cancer Care and Implications for Health Systems,' and the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B said the report shows that the drug discount program is a driver in the rise in treatment costs for patients with cancer."

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Healio  |  May 13, 2014

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Healio  |  May 13, 2014

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Healio  |  May 13, 2014

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Cancer Doctors Have Opportunities to Cut Costs Without Risk to Patients, Experts Say

Cancer Doctors Have Opportunities to Cut Costs Without Risk to Patients, Experts Say | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"In a review article published Feb. 14 in The Lancet Oncology, Johns Hopkins experts identify three major sources of high cancer costs and argue that cancer doctors can likely reduce them without harm to patients. The cost-cutting proposals call for changes in routine clinical practice involved in end-of-life care, medical imaging and drug pricing.


" 'We need to find the best ways to manage costs effectively while maintaining the same, if not better, quality of life among our patients,' says Thomas Smith, M.D., The Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine and professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins."

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Medical Xpress  |  Feb 14, 2014

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Medical Xpress  |  Feb 14, 2014

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Medical Xpress  |  Feb 14, 2014

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U.S. Doctors Begin to Question High Cost of Cancer Medicines

U.S. Doctors Begin to Question High Cost of Cancer Medicines | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Cancer drug prices have risen dramatically since the early 2000s, especially in the U.S. Some doctors are beginning to balk at medications that, in some cases, can cost over $10,000 a month and often offer only marginal improvements in survival. Other drugs do produce dramatic increases in life expectancy, but accumulating expenses force patients to stop treatment. Several aspects of the U.S. drug market contribute to high prices, including long patent durations that shield drug makers from competition, and Medicare’s inability to negotiate better prices with drug makers. Health authorities in several other countries have started to refuse coverage for drugs that, in their estimation, do not offer enough benefit to warrant their high cost. Notably, cancer drug prices in those countries are significantly lower than in the U.S. In 2012, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center became the first major U.S. hospital to refuse offering a cancer drug–zif-aflibercept (Zaltrap)–due to price concerns.

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New York Magazine | Oct 20, 2013

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New York Magazine | Oct 20, 2013

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New York Magazine | Oct 20, 2013

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Safer, Peptide-Based Therapies Studied as Alternative to Monoclonal Antibodies

Safer, Peptide-Based Therapies Studied as Alternative to Monoclonal Antibodies | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule inhibitors have been the primary treatment methods for many types of cancer for many years, but new studies may change that. Peptides, proteins made of small chains of 10 to 50 amino acids, are being examined as possible cost-effective, more successful, safer anticancer vaccines. Researchers have identified two regions on the HER1 (also known as the EGFR) protein as possible targets for these peptide-based drugs. These agents could be used in the treatment of lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancers. If successful, the EGFR-targeting peptide vaccines could be combined with immunotherapies for the HER2 and VEGF proteins, possibly reducing the likelihood that the cancer will develop resistance to the treatment, a common pitfall of monoclonal antibody drugs such as cetuximab (Erbitux).

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Medical News Today | Jul 26, 2013

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Medical News Today | Jul 26, 2013

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Lung Cancer Screening Would Cost Medicare Billions

Lung Cancer Screening Would Cost Medicare Billions | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Implementation of a national lung cancer screening program using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) will identify almost 55,000 additional lung cancer cases over 5 years, but will add more than $9 billion to Medicare expenditures, according to results of a new study.


"Joshua A. Roth, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, discussed the economic analysis during a press conference in advance of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, where results will be formally presented at the end of the month. He noted that following the positive results of the National Lung Screening Trial, the US Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended LDCT screening in healthy persons between the ages of 55 and 80 with at least 30 pack-years of smoking history. Medicare, meanwhile, is expected to release a draft decision on screening coverage in November of this year. 'That decision will likely heavily weight the Task Force’s recommendation,' Roth said."

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Cancer Network  |  May 15, 2014

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Living With Cancer: The Cost of Trials

Living With Cancer: The Cost of Trials | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

"A recent CT scan made me realize that the clinical trial extending my life effectively excludes all but the most privileged cancer patients.

"I used to weasel out of scans. Chalk it up to trepidation about radiation and possible kidney damage, along with paranoid suspicions that such scans don’t yield definitive pictures. My oncologist and I had agreed to fudge on frequent testing. But the clinical trial did not."


Editor's Note: Learn more about clinical trials here.

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The New York Times  |  Mar 20, 2014

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The New York Times  |  Mar 20, 2014

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The New York Times  |  Mar 20, 2014

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Realizing the Full Benefits of Palliative Care

Realizing the Full Benefits of Palliative Care | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

Evidence is mounting for the manifold benefits of palliative care–which is focused on alleviating symptoms–for cancer patients. Studies have shown that cancer patients who receive palliative care experience higher quality of life, less depression, and are better functioning. They also live longer, even though fewer of them undergo aggressive end-of-life care. Thanks to fewer hospitalizations, greater use of palliative care also actually decreases health care costs. Nonetheless, both physicians and patients often shy away from palliative care, as it is frequently–though falsely–associated with death and dying. Unlike hospice care, however, palliative care is intended and appropriate for all patients, regardless of stage or prognosis. Advocates recommend that palliative care should be offered widely and early on in cancer treatment.

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Healio  |  Nov 10, 2013

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, December 3, 2013 6:21 PM

Healio  |  Nov 10, 2013

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Healio  |  Nov 10, 2013

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UK Health Authority Issues Final Rejection for Cancer Drug Xalkori

UK Health Authority Issues Final Rejection for Cancer Drug Xalkori | Lung Cancer Dispatch | Scoop.it

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) confirmed its decision to reject using National Health Service funding to provide crizotinib (Xalkori) to patients. Xalkori is used for patients with previously treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have mutations in the ALK gene. While NICE acknowledges that Xalkori is effective in these patients, they do not consider its benefit substantial enough to warrant its high cost. Xalkori has been found to extend the time without cancer progression by an average of 5.1 months compared to standard chemotherapy; it is unclear whether it increases overall survival. UK patients can still take Xalkori, but would have to pay the full cost themselves (£37,512 - £51,579 for a complete treatment course).

Cancer Commons's insight:

PharmaTimes | Sep 25, 2013

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Raja Mudad's curator insight, September 27, 2013 9:31 AM

We are very lucky in this country (so far!!) to be able to use cutting edge, science-based treatments for cancers.  Xalkori (crizotinib) for ALK + patients with lung cancer will not be covered in the UK.