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San Francisco, CA—Personalized med­icine is evolving to become an integral part of modern medicine, but regulators are grappling with the assignment of value to new medical technologies, said Andrew Stainthorpe, PhD, Associate Director of the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), who discussed regulatory aspects of personalized medicine in oncology at the Third Annual PMO Live Conference, a Global Biomarkers Consortium Initiative.
"Mary” is a 67-year-old woman who was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery. She was hospitalized and then readmitted to the hospital after falling at home. I see a lot of Marys (or Joes) in my practice, as do most oncologists and physiatrists. It would take 12 seconds to identify many of the Marys and Joes and help to prevent their readmissions.
San Francisco, CA—In men with prostate cancer undergoing curative radiation therapy, it may be possible to preserve sexual function by using a vessel-sparing radiation technique, according to the 5-year follow-up results from a study of men who underwent vessel-sparing radiation therapy in this setting.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a cancer of B-cell lymphocytes, is the most common type of leukemia in Western adult patients. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, more than 15,600 Americans were diagnosed with CLL in 2013.
Boston, MA—New research provides hard data demonstrating that having an advance directive with a do not resuscitate (DNR) order leads to a significant cost reduction in the critical care of patients with advanced cancer. The study, reported at the 2014 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, is one of the first to quantify the cost-savings that can result when critical care patients with advanced cancer have a DNR. Diane G. Portman, MD, Chair of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine at Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, presented the results.
Boston, MA—Offering palliative care to patients with advanced cancer earlier rather than later in the course of disease can improve outcomes and reduce costs, according to a new study presented at the 2014 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium. Early palliative care had a dramatic impact on the number of emergency department visits and inpatient deaths, among other measures.
Boston, MA—A long-awaited cost analysis of a randomized trial comparing early palliative care with standard care in patients with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) did not produce results that reached statistical significance, but the findings were positive, the researchers said, given that early palliative care has been shown to improve survival and other outcomes.
San Francisco, CA—Patients who are diagnosed with lung cancer but continue to smoke are at much higher risk for a second primary lung cancer compared with never-smokers or those who have quit smoking, according to the largest analysis of its kind, which was presented at the 2014 American Society for Radiation Oncology meeting.
Chicago, IL—A large study based on Medicare claims data reveals an opportunity to substantially cut costs of lung cancer screening, while improving quality of care. Based on this study, lung biopsies are the most expensive modality used in the diagnostic workup of patients with an abnormal chest computed tomography (CT) scan, and as many as 43.7% of the biopsies according to this study are unnecessary and are in contrast to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) lung cancer screening guidelines recommendations.
Boston, MA—Two studies presented at the 2014 ASCO Quality Care Symposium show that patients with cancer have high rates of hospitalizations that are deemed avoidable, as well as high rates of emergency department visits. Clearly, strategies are needed to increase the value of cancer care for patients and for the healthcare system.
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