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Featured Oncology News

Comparing Cancer Costs Is Challenging, Despite New Price Transparency Rules

(UNC Lineberger CCC) Jan 16, 2020 - Comparison shopping for airfare, a TV, or a car can be straightforward online. The same cannot be said for checking what hospitals charge for a standard radiation treatment for prostate cancer, according to a report published in JAMA Oncology. Trevor Royce, MD, MPH, MS, of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the corresponding author of a study that investigated whether a federal rule that requires hospitals to publicly list standard charges for services and procedures – the foundation of price transparency ­­– would enable people to compare prices for care provided at National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers.

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NICE leaves The ‘The NHS Door’ Open Despite Rejecting Bayer’s Vitrakvi

(PMLiVE [UK]) Jan 17, 2020 - The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says it cannot recommend Bayer’s tumour-agnostic drug Vitrakvi at its current price, but remain ‘open’ for further discussion. In a blow to Bayer, NICE also said in the statement that Roche’s Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) rival Rozlytrek (entrectinib) could instead become the first histology independent treatment to be made available to NHS patients.

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Oncology Clinical News

Partnership with China Prompts Change In Care For High-Risk Type Of Leukemia

(St. Jude Children’s) Jan 16, 2020 - Findings from a collaborative clinical trial have generated key insights into how targeted therapy should be used to treat leukemia driven by the Philadelphia chromosome.

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Heterogeneity of Liver Cancer Cells Helps Explain Tumor Progression in Patients, Mount Sinai Research Found

(Mount Sinai) Jan 16, 2020 - Many liver cancer tumors contain a highly diverse set of cells, a phenomenon known as intra-tumor heterogeneity that can significantly affect the rate at which the cancer grows, Mount Sinai researchers report. The immune system’s contribution to this heterogeneity can have major clinical implications.

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UTSW Researchers Uncover New Vulnerability In Kidney Cancer

(UT Southwestern) Jan 16, 2020 - A UT Southwestern researcher led a team that identified a new vulnerability in kidney tumors, the 10th most common cause of cancer death in men and women.

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Hormone Resistance In Breast Cancer Linked To DNA ‘Rewiring’

(Garvan Institute of Medical Research [Australia]) Jan 17, 2020 - Garvan researchers have revealed changes to the 3D arrangement of DNA linked to treatment resistance in ER+ breast cancer.

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Cancer Study May Accidentally Help Researchers Create Usable Blood Stem Cells

(UCCC/Colorado Cancer Blogs) Jan 16, 2020 - A study identifies a possible new way to convince pluripotent cells to make hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).

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Oncology Business and Policy News

Cancer Drug Developer BioNTech to Buy Neon Therapeutics in $67M Deal

(Xconomy Boston) Jan 16, 2020 - Neon Therapeutics closed 2019 by curtailing its cancer vaccine programs and laying off 24 percent of its workforce, part of a corporate restructuring aimed at finding a new path for the company. That new path will now be as a division of cancer drug developer BioNTech.

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PANTHERx® Rare Pharmacy Selected by Blueprint Medicines Corporation to Distribute AYVAKIT™ (avapritinib) for Genomically Defined Patient Population with Rare Cancer, GIST

(Yahoo! Finance) Jan 17, 2020 - PANTHERx® Rare Pharmacy announces that it has been selected by Blueprint Medicines Corporation as a very limited distribution partner for breakthrough drug AYVAKIT™ (avapritinib).

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ESPN Reporter Had Advanced Non-Hogkin Lymphoma, A Cancer That Can Grow Rapidly

(NBC News) Jan 16, 2020 - It's possible to not have symptoms until a late stage of the disease.

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Broader Healthcare and Pharma News

U.S. FDA Panel Split Over Approval Of Durect's Non-Opioid Painkiller

(Reuters) Jan 16, 2020 - Independent experts on an FDA advisory panel on Thursday were split over the approval of Durect Corp’s non-opioid painkiller to manage post-surgical pain.

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Novo Nordisk's Diabetes Pill Rybelsus To Be Covered By Express Scripts

(Reuters) Jan 17, 2020 - Novo Nordisk’s new diabetes pill, Rybelsus, will be covered by Express Scripts Holding Co, one of the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit managers, the Danish drugmaker said on Friday.

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Republican FTC Commissioner Says She Supports Medicare Negotiating Drug Prices

(The Hill) Jan 16, 2020 - A Republican member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday expressed support for Medicare negotiating drug prices, an idea typically more supported by Democrats.

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Women's Blood Vessels Age Faster Than Men's: Study

(ABC News) Jan 16, 2020 - New research shows for the first time that women's blood vessels, both large and small arteries, age at a faster rate than men's.

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