#LCSM Chat Topic 4/24: Cost vs. Value with Expensive Cancer Treatments

Our topic for the upcoming #LCSM tweet chat on Thursday, April 24 at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific is the question of “cost vs value” in cancer treatments. The moderator for this chat will be Dr. Jack West. ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) has recently announced an initiative to define value in cancer treatments and apply some expectations of which drugs should be used, given their remarkable cost. Newer medications are typically costing about $10,000 per month, and the price is rising rapidly. Newer drugs have varying amounts of evidence… Read More

Upcoming #LCSM Chat, Thursday, March 27 at 5 pm PT, 8 pm ET: Should All Targeted Rx Lung Cancer Trials be Biomarker-Selective?

ASCO, the American Society for Clinical Oncology, is promoting a new principle that targeted therapies should be used only in targeted patients, as part of a general trend that we need to move away from trials that test new non-chemotherapy agents in a broad population. Meanwhile, we’ve just recently seen a few high profile negative trials in the last few weeks, such as the large phase III METLung trial of “METMAb” or onartuzumab, the monoclonal antibody against the target MET (mesenchymal epithelial transition), combined with Tarceva (erlotinib), and also the MAGE-A3 vaccine… Read More

December 5 #LCSM Chat Topic – Is the System of Clinical Trials Fair For Patients?

By Dr. H. Jack West IS THE SYSTEM OF CLINICAL TRIALS FAIR FOR PATIENTS? DO YOU BELIEVE IN IT?  I just watched the movie “Dallas Buyers Club”, about the challenges of getting new drugs for HIV/AIDS just as the first effective treatments were being identified in early clinical trials. It portrays the DEA, FDA, and medical establishment as essentially obstructing the process of patients getting access to life-sustaining treatments, and it led me to wonder whether patients and caregivers feel that the system of novel agents being tested in clinical trials is… Read More