Can Less Costly 9-Week Trastuzumab Match Efficacy of 12-Month Regimen?

Excerpt:

“A cost-effectiveness analysis found that 9 weeks of trastuzumab therapy is better than the more standard 12 months in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, without loss of clinical efficacy. The analysis is limited, though, by the need to combine various trials rather than any head-to-head comparisons.

“Trastuzumab has been shown to significantly improve survival in women with HER2-positive disease. ‘The budget impact of trastuzumab is high, mostly due to the drug’s high cost, and the most serious adverse effect observed is cardiac dysfunction,’ wrote study authors led by Caroline Clarke, PhD, of University College London in the United Kingdom. Though 12 months is considered the standard duration of therapy, some studies have also found similar results with only 9 or 10 weeks of trastuzumab.”

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Important New Research on Early Palliative Care for Advanced Cancer Patients Published

“Researchers at Trinity College Dublin and Mount Sinai in New York have just published new research which for the first time provides strong evidence on the economic benefits of early palliative care intervention for people with an advanced cancer diagnosis. Their findings were published today in the highly esteemed international peer reviewed Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“Previous research has shown the clinical benefits of early palliative care, but this new study robustly demonstrated how early access to expert palliative care decision making resulted in very significant cost reductions of up to 24%. The intervention reduced both the length and intensity of hospital stay for patients with advanced cancer.

“The researchers from Trinity’s Centre for Health Policy and Management and Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, led by Peter May, HRB Economics of Cancer Fellow at Trinity, studied over 1000 patients’ pathways of care in five major US hospitals and looked at costs associated with their care based on whether they saw a specialist palliative care consultation team or received standard hospital care.”


Personalized Cancer Therapy Boasts Success, and High Price

“Though molecularly targeted drugs are not yet available for most cancer patients, they account for the majority of the 45 new cancer drugs launched since 2010, a report by IMS Health found.

“Personalized cancer therapy is no longer just an exciting prospect, and better survival rates — as well as escalating spending — are proving it.

“ ‘It’s here. It’s definitely here,’ said Pasi Janne, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. ‘Today, it’s the most effective way to treat patients: Figure out the genetic fingerprint of an individual’s cancer and tailor the therapies to it.’ ”

“This year, President Obama announced an initiative focused on ‘precision medicine.’

“But in oncology, the model has arrived.”


New Tool Predicts Financial Pain for Cancer Patients

“In an online report in the journal Cancer, a team of University of Chicago cancer specialists have described the first tool—11 questions, assembled and refined from conversations with more than 150 patients with advanced cancer—to measure a patient’s risk for, and ability to tolerate, financial stress. The researchers refer to the expense, anxiety, and loss of confidence confronting cancer patients who face large, unpredictable costs, often compounded by decreased ability to work, as “financial toxicity,” and they have named their patient-reported outcome measure COST (COmprehensive Score for financial Toxicity).”


New Tool Predicts Financial Pain for Cancer Patients

“In an online report in the journal Cancer, a team of University of Chicago cancer specialists have described the first tool—11 questions, assembled and refined from conversations with more than 150 patients with advanced cancer—to measure a patient’s risk for, and ability to tolerate, financial stress. The researchers refer to the expense, anxiety, and loss of confidence confronting cancer patients who face large, unpredictable costs, often compounded by decreased ability to work, as “financial toxicity,” and they have named their patient-reported outcome measure COST (COmprehensive Score for financial Toxicity).”


New Tool Predicts Financial Pain for Cancer Patients

“In an online report in the journal Cancer, a team of University of Chicago cancer specialists have described the first tool—11 questions, assembled and refined from conversations with more than 150 patients with advanced cancer—to measure a patient’s risk for, and ability to tolerate, financial stress. The researchers refer to the expense, anxiety, and loss of confidence confronting cancer patients who face large, unpredictable costs, often compounded by decreased ability to work, as “financial toxicity,” and they have named their patient-reported outcome measure COST (COmprehensive Score for financial Toxicity).”


What Cancer Costs You Later: $4,000 a Year

“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.”


What Cancer Costs You Later: $4,000 a Year

“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.”


What Cancer Costs You Later: $4,000 a Year

“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.”