OBR Daily Commentary

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Opinion: Cancer Breakthrough -- Or Nightmare?

(CNN Opinion) Jan 11, 2011 - A simple blood test. It's able to detect minute quantities of cancer cells that might be circulating in your bloodstream.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: January 12, 2011)

quotesThe author makes a good point. The concept is truly exciting but there is really a dearth of clinical data to support the utility of this. Unfortunately when the public hears of these breakthoughs they often demand access with no good science to tell us what to do with the results. quotes

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Benefit of Brachytherapy in Patients with Early-Stage Prostate Cancer Is Still Unclear

(IQWiG, Germany) Jan 11, 2011 - It remains an unresolved issue as to whether interstitial brachytherapy has advantages compared to other therapy options in men with localized prostate cancer, nor do newer studies provide proof in this respect. This is the result of a report published by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) on 11 January 2011.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: January 12, 2011)

quotesEarly-stage prostate cancer is one of the most challenging problems facing a clinician today. There are many options available: watchful waiting, surgery, radiation therapy. Even within a given discipline there are numerous choices: robotic surgery, open external beam RT, seeds, protons, etc. The problem of which is the correct treatment is also complicated often by incomplete and confusing data as the author points out. Two other variables are also critical. The success and complication rate is extremely dependent on the skill of the physician; those that do more are better skilled and get better success rates. Also, patient selection is crucial. The overall health, vitality and life expectancy are all critical factors in determining what the correct treatment may be for a given patient. More than most diseases, open discussion between the treating doctor and the patient to determine the priorities needs to be key. Each patient is unique. quotes

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Insurers Back Roche’s Avastin Even as FDA Says It Doesn’t Work

(Bloomberg Businessweek) Jan 10, 2011 - A decision by WellPoint Inc. and other insurers to keep paying for Avastin in breast cancer may help Roche Holding AG avoid a $1 billion drop in sales after U.S. regulators said the drug doesn’t treat the disease.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: January 11, 2011)

quotesIt is encouraging to see the payer community recognize the value of continuing to cover Avastin in breast cancer for selected patients. I hope the Medicare carriers make similar decisions. quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Prostate Cancer
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Tomasz M. Beer, MD, FACP

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

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

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Woo...

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...