Oncology Practice Management Issues


January 2019, Vol 9, No 1

Paradigm Shift: Ibrutinib plus Rituximab Front-Line Therapy for Patients with CLL Under Age 70

Phoebe Starr

Leukemia

The combination of the targeted therapy ibrutinib (Imbruvica), a protein kinase inhibitor, and the monoclonal antibody rituximab (Rituxan) extends disease-free survival by 65% and overall survival (OS) by 83% compared with standard-of-care chemotherapy with the fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) regimen as first-line therapy in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) under age 70, according to results of the phase 3 ECOG-ACRIN 1912 trial presented at a late-breaking abstract session at the 2018 American Society of Hematology meeting. In addition, patients who received the chemotherapy-free, pill-based ibrutinib plus rituximab regimen had fewer adverse events than the patients who received FCR. [ Read More ]

Identifying the Problem Is Key to Quality Improvement in Cancer Care

Meg Barbor, MPH

Quality Care

“There are a number of ways to go wrong when you’re trying to improve something,” said Kaveh G. Shojania, MD, Director, Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, University of Toronto, Canada, and Editor-in-Chief, BMJ Quality & Safety, who delivered the keynote address at the 2018 ASCO Quality Care Symposium. When it comes to improving quality in cancer care, there are no magic bullets. Many approaches have little to no impact. But recognizing and avoiding the most common pitfalls in quality improvement efforts can improve the chances for success, according to Dr Shojania. [ Read More ]

Brigatinib, Next-Generation ALK Inhibitor, Improves Survival versus Crizotinib in Patients with NSCLC and ALK Mutation

Phoebe Starr

Lung Cancer

Brigatinib (Alunbrig), a new-­generation ALK inhibitor, significantly prolonged survival compared with standard of care with crizotinib (Xalkori) as first-line therapy in patients with advanced ALK-positive non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was not reached in the brigatinib arm versus 9.8 months in the crizotinib arm. At 1 year, 67% of the patients who received brigatinib were still alive compared with 43% of patients who received crizotinib. [ Read More ]