Oncology Practice Management Issues

April 2018, Vol 8, No 4

Liquid Biopsy, or Circulating Tumor Cells, May Help the Diagnosis of Early-Stage Cancer and Minimal Residual Disease Detection

Wayne Kuznar

Cancer Screening

Measuring circulating tumor (ct)DNA in the blood, a so-called liquid biopsy, may be used to detect minimal residual ­disease (MRD) after definitive treatment, as well as to predict disease relapse throughout the course of treatment. Other emerging applications include assessment of response, detection of treatment resistance, early detection of cancer, and tumor classification, said Ash A. Alizadeh, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Divisions of Oncology and Hematology, Stanford Cancer Institute, at the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. [ Read More ]

Understanding Immunotherapy Late Adverse Effects in Cancer Survivors

Meg Barbor, MPH

Immunotherapy, Survivorship

Because of the novel mechanisms of action of immunotherapies, extended treatment period, and unique toxicities, cancer treatment with immunotherapy warrants special consideration from a survivorship standpoint, suggested Katy K. Tsai, MD, Clinical Instructor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), at the 2018 Cancer Survivorship Symposium. [ Read More ]

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor plus VEGFR Inhibitor Combo Outperforms Sunitinib in Renal-Cell Carcinoma

Phoebe Starr

GU Cancers Symposium Highlights, Renal-Cell Carcinoma

Progression-free survival (PFS) was extended by 3.5 months with first-line atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) in patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (RCC) versus standard-of-care sunitinib (Sutent) in the phase 3 IMmotion151 clinical trial presented at the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. The PFS benefit of the combination of an immune checkpoint inhibitor and a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitor was longer in patients with PD-L1–positive tumors. In addition, atezolizumab plus bevacizumab had an improved side-effect profile versus sunitinib. [ Read More ]

FDA Implements New Steps to Encourage Generic Drug Competition, Expand Patients’ Access to Inexpensive Medicines

Eileen Koutnik-Fotopoulos

Health Policy

In a January 3, 2018, statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, the FDA announced new steps to promote generic drug competition as a way to expand potential access to inexpensive medicines, which would be especially helpful for patients with cancer. These new steps are a part of the FDA’s ongoing implementation of the Drug Competition Action Plan. [ Read More ]

Select Clinical Trials Currently Enrolling Patients with Colorectal Cancer

Clinical Trials Tracker

The following clinical trials represent a selection of key studies that are currently recruiting patients with different types of colorectal cancer for inclusion in investigations of new therapies as well as new regimens of existing treatments for patients with colorectal cancer. Each description includes the NLM Identifier to be used as a reference with ClinicalTrials.gov. This information can help oncologists and other oncology practice providers direct eligible patients to an appropriate clinical trial. [ Read More ]

The Promise and Peril of Technology

Dawn Holcombe, MBA, FACMPE, ACHE

From the Editor

What seems like just a few years ago, oncology practice technology amounted to a billing system and an electronic medical records (EMR) system, possibly even a drug inventory management system. When a practice participated in quality or performance metrics, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Oncology Practice Initiative, it was usually through the process of a manual chart review conducted for a subset of patients being treated by the group. [ Read More ]

Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Upper-Tract Urothelial Cancer Shows Impressive Gains in the POUT Trial

Phoebe Starr

GU Cancers Symposium Highlights, Urothelial Cancer

Adjuvant chemotherapy had impressive gains in disease-free survival (DFS) and metastasis-free survival versus surveillance in upper-tract urothelial cancer (UTUC), according to the results of the phase 3 POUT clinical trial that were presented at the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. There was a suggestion of a survival gain with chemotherapy, but longer follow-up is needed. [ Read More ]

Active Surveillance the Least Costly Management Strategy for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

Wayne Kuznar

Prostate Cancer

San Francisco, CA—Active surveillance is less costly than immediate treatment of low-risk prostate cancer, regardless of the specific treatment, according to findings from a cost analysis at a single institution presented at the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. The cost-effectiveness of initial active surveillance compared with immediate treatment, as well as mitigation of treatment-related side effects, supports consideration of active surveillance as a management strategy in value-based care models, said lead investigator Franklin Gaylis, MD, FACS, Medical Director, Genesis Healthcare Partners (GHP), San Diego, who presented the study results. [ Read More ]