Melanoma Trial Halted Early; Keytruda Betters Yervoy
Currently, Keytruda is approved for patients with advanced melanoma previously treated with Yervoy and, in some patients, another type of drug as well. That second- and third-line status limits the number of patients eligible for the drug.
Driving Precision Medicine With Exceptional Responders
The NCI wants to encourage clinical trial investigators to review data from their completed clinical trials and treating oncologists to look back in their patient records to identify potential cases of exceptional responses and submit them for consideration in the initiative.
HHS Launches Public-Private Effort to Accelerate Healthcare Transformation
The Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network kicked off with its inaugural meeting bringing together public and private sector actors to discuss efforts to move healthcare toward a system that pays based on quality rather than quantity.
FDA Approves Eylea to Treat Diabetic Retinopathy in Patients With Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic retinopathy affects 33% of all patients with diabetes over 40; 29 million Americans have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Health Plan Cancellations Remain Uncommon Despite Concerns
With the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most nongroup health insurance plans offer minimum coverage standards, concerns arose about plan cancellations affecting those who already had insurance coverage. However, recent data found cancellations were uncommon.
Diabetes Raises Risk of Developing Advanced Stage Breast Cancer, Study Finds
Diabetes is associated with more advanced stage breast cancer, according to a new study that confirms a strong link between diabetes and later stage breast cancer at diagnosis.
Nivolumab Effective in Peviously Treated RCC Patients
The authors however cautioned that we still lack an understanding of biomarker-driven patient selection for PD-1 and PD-L1 agent. Adequate knowledge of the mechanism of action of these immuno-oncology agents could help optimize therapy, they add.
Telehealth Palliative Care Model Reports Benefits in Cancer Patients
The ENABLE trial, conducted in rural regions of Vermont and New Hampshire, reports a positive impact on the 1-year survival of advanced cancer patients. A parallel study, ENABLE III, reported benefits to caregivers following early introduction of palliative care in these advanced cancer patients.
Provenge On Its Way to Gain Approval in Germany
Dendreon's prostate cancer immunotherapy Provenge is now being backed by IQWiG just months after the German health technology assessor was poised to reject the treatment.
Uncompensated Care Costs Down $7.4 Billion Due to the ACA
On the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation announced that healthcare reform was responsible for a $7.4 billion reduction in uncompensated care costs in 2014.
Gilead Warns of Cardiac Issues With Sovaldi and Harvoni
The company has announced that patients on Sovaldi or Harvoni who were also on the heart medication amiodarone developed abnormally slow heartbeats. This warning by Gilead could limit the drug's use.
Need Better Regulation for Next Gen Sequencing Tests, AMP Urges the FDA
The Association for Molecular Pathology has provided comments to the FDA, urging increased regulation of next generation sequencing diagnostic tests to ensure consistent and proper performance of the tests.
Race a Risk Factor for Cancer Mortality, Study Shows
Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the study found that most Asian subgroups were less likely to die from cancer than non-Hispanic white patients.
The FDA Has It Right With Drug Approvals
While keeping pace with the 2014 rate, the FDA is steaming ahead with approvals for a several breakthrough molecules. Everyone is not happy though, especially the payers who are looking at the $100,000 price tag on some of the specialty medications.
The Role of Big Data in Healthcare
Big data, interoperability, and patient engagement were the topics of discussion during one of the opening keynote sessions at the World Health Care Congress held March 22-25 in Washington, DC.
Alternative Medicine Can Boost Patient Survival
A retrospective review of evidence from studies that assessed the use of mind–body interventions, nutrition, physical activity, and combined complementary and alternative medicine approaches in cancer patients found not just improved disease support in cancer patients, but often times, improved survival as well.
State Oncology Societies Join ASCO's Call on Congress to Replace SGR Formula
In a show of solidarity, state oncology societies from across the United States today joined the American Society of Clinical Oncology in its call on Congress to repeal Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate formula before the current payment patch expires at the end of the month.
Access to Low-Cost Sovaldi: Pharmacy Tourism
The global price discrimination with Sovaldi has brought to light "pharmacy tourism" - patients trying to acquire the same drug at as much as 1% of the price of the drug in the US market.
Forcing Leukemia Cells to Behave
During laboratory experiments, while growing these leukemic cells, the authors observed that some of the cancer cells in culture were changing shape and size into what looked like macrophages. Subsequent experiments confirmed that by manipulating some of the transcription factors, these human cancer cells could be transformed into macrophages, which can engulf and digest cancer cells and pathogens.
Medicaid Expansion Improved Diabetes Detection, Study Finds
The study, conducted by the national laboratory Quest Diagnostics, found that in states that expanded Medicaid, he number of Medicaid enrollees with newly identified diabetes rose by 23%, to 18,020 in the first 6 months of 2014, from 14,625 in the same period in 2013.
Workplace Insurance Enrollment Unaffected by the ACA
There has been much hand wringing over the health law requirement that large employers this year offer insurance to workers who put in 30 or more hours a week or face penalties for not doing so. A new study found that so far there’s little cause for concern.
Seeking Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program
The federal-state Children’s Health Insurance Program will run out of money on September 30. Until recently, Congress showed little interest in paying for it. But this week, the House agreed on a bill that would continue the $13 billion program in its current form through 2017.
Healthcare Reform's Impact on Employer-Sponsored Insurance
The federal and state health insurance exchanges, while generating a great amount of attention and controversy, still only represent a small fraction of the marketplace.
HHS Recovered $3.3 Billion in Fraudulent Healthcare Payments in 2014
More than $3 billion was returned to the Medicare Trust Fund in 2014 from individuals and companies attempting to defraud federal health programs, according to an announcement by HHS.
Biogen's Alzheimer’s Drug Sharply Slows Cognitive Decline
An experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease sharply slowed the decline in mental function in a small clinical trial, researchers reported Friday, reviving hopes for an approach to therapy that until now has experienced repeated failures.