June 2021, Vol 11, No 6

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have become a fixture in the drug supply chain. They serve as administrators of prescription drug benefits for those who pay for care, including commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, Medicare Part D plans, and state government employee plans. According to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), PBMs administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans. Read Article ›

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruptions to virtually all aspects of oncology care. There has been a steep drop in cancer diagnoses and screenings—a result of shelter-in-place policies instituted early on, as well as ongoing patient fears about returning to healthcare facilities for new appointments or follow-up care. Experts predict that there will soon be a surge of patients with advanced cancer, which has the potential to overwhelm a healthcare infrastructure already stretched very thin. Read Article ›

The addition of the PI3K inhibitor copanlisib (Aliopa) to rituximab (Rituxan) reduced the risk for disease progression or death by 48% compared with placebo plus rituximab in patients with relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in the phase 3 CHRONOS-3 clinical trial. The results of this study were presented at the 2021 virtual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting and published simultaneously in The Lancet Oncology. Read Article ›

Treatment with tebentafusp (IMCgp100), a novel bispecific T-cell receptor (TCR) fusion protein, extended survival in patients with metastatic uveal melanoma, according to the results from a recent phase 3 trial. Read Article ›

Although the role of biosimilars in the treatment of patients with cancer has been under review by payers and providers for several years, there remains conflicting application regarding policy and strategy. There is a growing need for discussions on biosimilars in the context of the current landscape, utilization and evidence, impact on costs of care, quality and payment reform, and potential policy and strategy solutions. Read Article ›

Approximately 13% of patients with lung adenocarcinomas harbor KRAS p.G12C mutations. In the phase 2 CodeBreaK 100 clinical trial, the responses to sotorasib in patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and KRAS p.G12C mutation were early, deep, and durable, according to Bob T. Li, MD, PhD, MPH, Medical Oncologist, Thoracic Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. He presented the study results at the 2021 International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer meeting. Read Article ›

Researchers have identified 2 inherited pathogenic genetic variants in patients with pediatric neuroblastoma, according to results from a study presented at the 2021 virtual American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. Both variants—the ALK gene and loss of function in PHOX2B—are associated with worse outcomes. Read Article ›

At one time or another, we have all found ourselves on the phone with a customer service representative, trying to resolve an issue. Unfortunately, it seems as though no matter what we say, the person on the other end of the line offers the typical “scripted” response and does not address our problem. We continue trying to get our point across, hoping that the representative will eventually understand and provide some type of real assistance. Read Article ›

Over the past 2 decades, the number of cancer deaths per 100,000 blacks has declined approximately 30% in the United States, but black people are still disproportionately dying of cancer. In certain cancers, for example, there is a greater than 2-fold increase in the incidence and rate of deaths of blacks compared with whites in the country. Read Article ›

Regular aspirin use is considered the best chemoprevention strategy to reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in middle-aged adults. This supported the US Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) recommendation of daily aspirin for CRC prophylaxis in adults aged 50 to 59 years and certain cardiovascular risk factors. The USPSTF, however, also recommends aspirin use in people aged ≥70 years, but the evidence for this is inconsistent. Read Article ›

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