OBR Daily Commentary

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UK's NICE Recommends Roche's Herceptin For Stomach Cancer

(SmartMoney/Dow Jones Newswires) Nov 23, 2010 - The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Wednesday said it recommended Roche Holding AG's Herceptin oncology drug be made routinely available on the publicly funded National Health Service to certain patients with metastatic gastric cancer.

Howard S. Hochster, MD (Posted: November 24, 2010)

quotesFor once NICE leads the pack on approval of a new cancer drug. This seems fairly revolutionary for the nation which never believed in paclitaxel for ovarian cancer and the agency that approved oxaliplatin (for reimbursement) only in potentially resectable metastatic colorectal cancer to the liver. Of interest, they are focused more on the high HER-2 expressors, which may be IHC 3+ or FISH high copy number. We are not aware of the analysis presented to NICE and what percent of patients fall into this group. In any case, in the US, few patients fall into this group, but hopefully the FDA will follow suit shortly. ASCO will need to develop the specific testing guidelines (IHC, FISH or both) to match the approval.quotes

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Cancer Drug Shortage Arrives

(Anchorage Daily News) Nov 20, 2010 - Cancer doctors say a national shortage of a chemotherapy drug has hit Anchorage, is already disrupting treatment for local patients, and could affect dozens more if it continues.

(Posted: November 22, 2010)

quotesThe ongoing shortage of commonly used but older and more cost effective chemotherapy agents represents a major issue for Hem/Onc physicians and their patients. This is particularly true when the illness being treated is a curable malignancy such as Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The recent shortage of doxorubicin (Adriamycin) is the most difficult example yet of this recent phenomenon. There are no proven equivalent substitutes for doxorubicin for these highly curable patients. It is forcing many oncologists to ration or substitute less proven agents for these patients. The system needs to be modified so that these older agents can still be competitive for companies to make despite being cost effective. Alternatively, a standardized manufacturer that is underwritten by the government must assure there is an adequate supply for these life saving drugs available for our patients. quotes

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Pfizer: Cancer Drug Does Well in Late-stage Study

(North Jersey/AP) Nov 19, 2010 - Pfizer Inc., the world's largest pharmaceutical company, said Friday its potential kidney cancer treatment axitinib performed well in a late-stage study compared to another drug.

Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP (Posted: November 19, 2010)

quotesThe current report suggests that Axitinib compared favorably to Sorafenib in a trial in patients with RCCa who had progressed following prior antiangiogenic therapy. Although no specifics were given this trial will form the basis for a future FDA submission of this drug. The kidney cancer research community also awaits the results of a front line trial of Axitinib therapy in previously untreated patients. Axitinib is a "next generation", VEGFr TKI with nanomolar inhibitory concentrations against the targets most important in RCC biology, and if approved will add to the 6 FDA approved drugs over the past 5 years in this disease. The clinical community treating these patients awaits comparative effectiveness studies to place these therapies in context.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

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...