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The Most-Read News Stories of 2017

Laura Joszt
The top 5 most-read news stories included clinical content, such as an FDA approval, and policy news, such as Medicare reimbursement coverage.
This year was filled with a number of big news stories, but the most-read articles covered 2 disease states: cancer and diabetes.

The top 5 most-read news stories included clinical content, such as an FDA approval, and policy news, such as Medicare reimbursement coverage.

5. Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy Approved for Metastatic Nonsquamous NSCLC

In May, the FDA approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for metastatic nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The treatment was approved based on the results of the KEYNOTE-021 trial, which found that pembrolizumab with chemotherapy improved median progression-free survival by about 3.1 months compared with chemotherapy alone. The pembrolizumab treatment also improved objective response rate from 29% to 55%.

Read the full article.

4. Concerning Trends in Colorectal Cancer Incidence Among Younger Adults

While the incidence of colorectal cancer declines for older Americans, it has increased among young adults. A study of data assessing colorectal cancer trends by time period and birth cohort found that beginning in the mid-1980s, rates of colon cancer increased by 1% per year in adults between the ages of 30 and 39 and by 2.4% for adults aged 20 to 29. The risk for people born circa 1990 is equivalent to that of people born circa 1890.

The researchers determined that lifestyle changes are likely the reason for the increase in colorectal cancer rates among younger adults. This cohort is more likely to have excess body fat as a result of their unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles.

Read the full article.

3. Good Gut Bacteria Improve Response to Cancer Immunotherapy, Study Finds

For 2 years in a row, immunotherapy has been named the cancer advance of the year by the American Society of Clinical Oncology because of how immunotherapy has made significant advances in treating cancer. However, new research has found that the bacteria in a person’s gut may influence how effective a cancer immunotherapy is.

The researchers found that patients with bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, faecalibacterium prausnitzii, or holdemania filiformis in their intestinal tract responded better to immunotherapy.

Read the full article.

2. Trial Results Published for Medtronic's MiniMed 670G

A trial for the Medtronic MiniMed670G showed that the hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system reduced glycemic variability and long-term complications from type 1 diabetes. It had already been known that the system was safe for use at home and increased users’ time in their target range. Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) dropped from 7.7% to 7.1% for adolescents in the trial and from 7.3% to 6.8% for adults in the trial.

The system can help reduce long-term complications, such as vision problems, cognitive issues, or limb loss.

Read the full article.

1. Medicare Issues Rules for CGM Coverage—No Smartphones Allowed

Although CMS announced in March that Medicare enrollees with type 1 diabetes, and some with type 2 diabetes, would be able to get coverage for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), they would not be able to use a smartphone or tablet to display their data. CMS decided that beneficiaries must use the receiver that comes with the CGM system and if they used their smartphone at all, even alongside the receiver, then Medicare would not reimburse for it.

A total of 800,000 seniors are eligible for CGM, and as of August there were 20,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the pipeline waiting to get access to CGM.

Read the full article.

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