OBR Daily Commentary

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Low-Dose CT Scans May Help Spot Early Lung Cancer

(WebMD/HealthDay News) May 21, 2013 - Finding early signs of lung cancer was once next to impossible, but a new study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that screening with low-dose CT scans may help spot the beginnings of disease in high-risk patients.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: May 22, 2013)

quotesInteresting that an 84 patient study that provides absolutely no new information or insight into a complex situation can be considered as news. Yes, results from CT screening for lung cancer can produce ambiguous findings. Yes, some cancers are detected as early stage, but others may not be. There is a 20% improvement in overall survival, not 90%, and we all know that screening CT scans show lots of questionable nodules that cause anxiety and turn out not to be cancer. It would be nice if we stopped getting news stories that reported the same thing every few weeks.quotes

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Bayer, Algeta Win U.S. Approval for Prostate Cancer Drug

(Bloomberg) May 15, 2013 - Bayer AG and Algeta ASA won U.S. approval for their drug to treat an advanced form of prostate cancer that doesn't respond to the standard testosterone-lowering treatments.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: May 15, 2013)

quotesThis is an important development, finally bringing an FDA approval to match with the overwhelming evidence supporting first line treatment with an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, whether erlotinib or gefitinib (though only erlotinib is available in the US), for patients with an activating EGFR mutation. First line erlotinib for patients with an identified activating EGFR mutation has been the consensus standard of care for several years, but we have always needed to prescribe this in the absence of a formal FDA approval for this indication.quotes

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Solving the $100,000 Cancer Drug Problem

(Harvard Business Review blog) May 2, 2013 - The key to solving this problem is to forget about regulation, charity, or public shaming and instead focus on how to help drug companies make even more money.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: May 02, 2013)

quotesThis is a very thoughtful discussion of a major problem disrupting our ability to deliver cancer care in the new world of molecular oncology effectively. I have many patients who are unable to receive treatments known or likely to be very effective for them because they cannot afford them. While we want to ensure that pharma/biotech companies are incentivized to bring new treatments to market and rewarded for the risks involved, this does need to be balanced with the profound negative effects of exorbitant pricing creating a world of "haves" and "have nots" based on coverage of these drugs, all within the same health care system.quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Associate Cancer Center Director, Yale Cancer Center P...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Ronald H. Bloom Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
Pr...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...