OBR Daily Commentary

forumImage

Editorial: Incredible Prices for Cancer Drugs

(International Herald Tribune/New York Times) Nov 12, 2012 - Sloan-Kettering shows how a refusal to pay and public pressure can force a big drug company to bring down the cost of an overpriced cancer drug.

Read Article arrow

H. Jack West, MD (Posted: November 15, 2012)

quotesThis is a topic that is not specific to any one tumor type, and it's a critical development. Over the past few years, costs for many cancer agents have been priced so aggressively that they border on extortionate, presumably based on a premise that oncologists and society can't possibly say no. Several key oncologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center took a bold stand by critically evaluating the evidence showing a very marginal utility for the agent ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap), concluding that its true value was minimal enough that the entire institution would not use this agent. Injecting a consideration of clinical value into the equation of oncology drug use is already a very important shot across the bow, but the fact that this led Sanofi to actually lower their infeasible and unjust pricing for this agent makes their effort inestimably helpful in bending the cost curve in cancer.quotes

Add Comment 3 Comment
forumImage

Astex Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of AT13387 Phase 2 Study in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

(Yahoo! Finance) Oct 24, 2012 - Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics, announced that it has initiated an open label, randomized, controlled, multi-center, Phase 2 clinical trial, evaluating HSP90 inhibitor AT13387 in anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK +) non-small cell lung cancer patients or other potentially crizotinib-sensitive NSCLC patients who have been receiving crizotinib.

Read Article arrow

H. Jack West, MD (Posted: October 24, 2012)

quotesSeveral HSP90 inhibitors have demonstrated activity in ALK+ NSCLC, so this appears to be a very encouraging, though numerically limited, setting in which to study AT13387 and potentially other HSP90 inhibitors. It is also gratifying to see a greater focus on clinical trials for patients with a driver mutation like ALK or EGFR who have developed acquired resistance to the initial targeted therapy, hoping to restore activity with a new agent against that target or a combination with the prior targeted agent, as is being done in the planned trial with AT13387.quotes

Add Comment 1 Comment
forumImage

Peregrine Says Lung Cancer Trial Data Erroneous, Shares Sink

(Reuters) Sept 24, 2012 - Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc said it found major discrepancies in results from a mid-stage study of its experimental lung cancer drug conducted by a third-party contractor, wiping off nearly three-quarters of its market value.

Read Article arrow

H. Jack West, MD (Posted: September 24, 2012)

quotesOf course, anyone would be encouraged by the results that were presented by Dr. David Gerber earlier this month at the Chicago lung cancer meeting, which included an approximate doubling of median overall survival for previously treated patients with advanced NSCLC in the two groups in the randomized phase II trial who received bavituximab in combination with docetaxel, compared with docetaxel alone. Despite this, I feared what I saw was "irrational exuberance" over results of what was still a phase II trial with about 40 patients per arm and favored learning more from the planned phase III randomized trial before declaring bavituximab a miraculous intervention. The press release highlight "major discrepancies in treatment group coding", providing very little actual information, but it does caution investors to not consider the previously released data to be credible. We will need to learn more as Peregrine sifts through the wreckage to determine the extent of the errors, hoping this isn't flagrant fraud. In the meantime, the ongoing story provides a sobering reminder that "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is." It is a shame that this situation could undermine the credibility of the research process at a time when there are other stories of unethical conduct in clinical trials that could lead the public to be wary about the integrity of the process.quotes

Add Comment 1 Comment

Meet the Editorial Board

Prostate Cancer
member photo
Tomasz M. Beer, MD, FACP

Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Medical O...

Community Oncology
member photo
Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
member photo
Debu Tripathy, MD

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

Lung Cancer
member photo
H. Jack West, MD

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

Gastrointestinal Cancers
member photo
Howard S. Hochster, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Woo...

Radiation Oncology
member photo
Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

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

Community Oncology
member photo
Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
member photo
Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

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

Financial Sector
member photo
Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
member photo
Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

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

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
member photo
Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
member photo
Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
member photo
William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
member photo
William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
member photo
Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...