AUGUST 2012 I VOL 5, NO 5 I SPECIAL ISSUE

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ASCO 2012: Payers Perspectives, PEER-REVIEWED FORUM, EVIDENCE IN BENEFIT DESIGN

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  • 2012 Engage Healthcare Communications, LLC

    THE PEER-REVIEWED FORUM FOR EVIDENCE IN BENEFIT DESIGN

    FOR PAYERS, PURCHASERS, POLICYMAKERS, AND OTHER HEALTHCARE STAKEHOLDERS

    Chicago, ILPrecision medicine isthe new catch phrase in oncology,and examples of it were evidentacross the vast halls of McCormickPlace at the 2012 American Society ofClinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting.

    Precision medicine is the next itera-tion of personalized medicine, amoniker perhaps meant to convey theincreasing refinement of the molecu-lar targets that underlie tumors. It hasbecome evident that mutations that

    Molecular Profiling GuidingCancer TherapyPrecision Medicine Focus of ASCO 2012 By Caroline Helwick

    Novel T-DM1 Prolongs Remissionin Metastatic Breast Cancer: ANew Smart BombBy Audrey Andrews

    Chicago, ILThe media darling atASCO 2012 was a novel agent somecalled a smart bomb, because of itshighly targeted and potent effect thatspares surrounding healthy tissue.

    Trastuzumab emtansine, betterknown as T-DM1, the antibody-drugconjugate linking trastuzumab to acytotoxic agent, delivers its punchdirectly into the tumor of patients withHER2-positive metastatic breast can-cer, and this agent is associated withlittle toxicity. T-DM1 is one of an

    entirely new class of agents that couldhave a major impact on the disease.

    Early results from EMILIA, an inter-national phase 3 clinical trial presentedat the meetings plenary session,showed an increase of approximately30% in progression-free survival (PFS)with T-DM1 compared with a stan-dard treatment regimen.

    For patients facing metastaticbreast cancer, this is a breakthrough,said lead author Kimberly L.Blackwell, MD, of Duke Cancer

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    Continued on page 9

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    PERSONALIZED MEDICINE . . . . . . . 6Patients willing to pay for genetictesting to assess cancer riskWhy hasnt genomic testingchanged the landscape?

    HEALTH ECONOMICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8High OOP costs in MedicareCancer screening is cost-effective

    GI CANCERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11New therapies on the horizon

    LUNG CANCER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Afatinib boosts PFS in EGFRmutations

    PROSTATE CANCER . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Abiraterone before chemotherapy a promising strategy

    RENAL CANCER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Tivozanib outperforms sorafenib as first-line therapy

    MULTIPLE MYELOMA . . . . . . . . . . . 23Pomalidomide shows strong activityin relapsed/refractory disease

    DRUG PIPELINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25PAYERS PERSPECTIVES . . . . . . 26Payers collaborate with providers to adopt oncology pathways?

    IN THIS ISSUE

    AUGUST 2012 I VOL 5, NO 5 I SPECIAL ISSUE ASCO 2012: Payers Perspectives

    Quality of Life Drives Patient Preference for Metastatic RCC DrugPazopanib winner in head-to-head QOL comparisonBy Wayne Kuznar

    Chicago, ILThe surprising results ofthe head-to-head randomized clinicaltrial PISCES on patient preference forone cancer therapy over another showthat patient-reported quality-of-life(QOL) differences influence treatmentpreference far more than physicianshad imagined, suggested researchers atASCO 2012.

    In a double-blind, crossover trial,168 patients with metastatic renal-cell

    carcinoma (mRCC) were randomized1:1 to 10 weeks of 800 mg of pazopanibor 50 mg of sunitinib as first-line can-cer treatment; after a 2-week washoutperiod, patients received 10 weeks ofthe alternate treatment. The primaryend point was patient preference,measured at 22 weeks.

    Because patients with mRCC re -ceive therapies for many months oreven years, the researchers assessed

    Continued on page 20

    Patient Adherence Rises with Costof Oral Cancer Drugs A potential designer drug phenomenonBy Caroline Helwick

    Chicago, ILCanadian researchersreported a finding at the 2012American Society of Clinical Oncol -ogy meeting that runs contrary towhat other researchers have ob servedin the majority of studies. In this

    study, as oral drug costs increas ed, sodid the likelihood of patients adher-ing to a prescribed regimen.

    Low adherence rates have beendocumented for many oral therapiesin various diseases, and medication

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