The Daily Rise: Friday, June 3 #ASCO16

Join Us Tomorrow!

We’re excited about ASCO 2016, where we’ll be connecting with patients, doctors and medical professionals all weekend long. (For any new patients, ASCO stands for the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.)

If you’re in Chicago, join us tomorrow as Patients Rising Policy Director Jonathan Wilcox brings together patients and patient advocates, as well as nationally acclaimed policy, legal and medical professionals.

  • to reveal the real barriers standing between patients and the effective treatments they need, when they need them
  • to oppose policy proposals called value-frameworks that can limit or ration the care you need
  • to propose how we can work together to assure patients have access to the best, most advanced diagnostics and treatments despite these obstacles

Lunch will be provided. The full program will be recorded and available online after 6:00PM CT. Together we can get the Right Treatment to the Right Patient Right Now!

WHEN: Saturday, June 4, 12:00PM – 2:00PM CT

WHERE: Chicago Symphony Center at 220 S. Michigan Avenue, 9th Floor in Chicago.

To register your attendance, please click here.

Confirmed Panelists and Guests: 

The Must Read

Our “must read” heading into ASCO16 is a new PhRMA report on the “Decade of Innovation in Cancer” published just in time for this week’s conference.

This detailed report offers thorough updates on how innovation in treatments has helped, is helping and will continue to help halt the spread of deadly cancers. According to the report, “Since its peak in 1991, the cancer death rate has dropped 23%.”

Just a few of the key highlights are:

  • Melanoma: A wave of immunotherapies has transformed the treatment of the metastatic disease. Before 2011, the median survival for metastatic melanoma patients was less than a year – recently released data show that in one clinical trial, 40 percent of metastatic melanoma patients have survived three years after initiating immunotherapy.
  • Breast cancer: Personalized medicines have opened important new doors for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, which tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. One of these promising new therapies, called antibody drug conjugates, links powerful chemotherapy agents to an antibody, helping to steer the medicine directly to the tumor. These “smart bombs” enable the precise delivery of the medicine directly to the cancer cells, resulting in tumor shrinkage and prolonged survival.
  • Cervical cancer: Virtually all cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), with several strains being identified as increasing that risk. Since the introduction of the first HPV vaccines, prevalence of HPV infection has dropped 64 percent among girls ages 14 to19, helping to protect against cervical cancer.

A copy of the entire report is available here.

ASCO 2016: Collective Wisdom

Charles Bankhead of MedPage Today reports on the record attendance for this year’s conference. Appropriate — given this year’s theme of “Collective Wisdom.”

“More than 35,000 participants will be on hand for the meeting, a 10% increase from 2015. Reflecting the international scope of the meeting and its scientific and educational programming, 51% of registrants are from the United States and 49% from other countries, Bankhead reports. “The 5,810 abstracts submitted for consideration include a 20% increase in the number of abstracts related to the rapidly expanding field of immunotherapy in oncology.”

So, what exactly does this year’s theme hope to emphasize?

“Collective Wisdom emphasizes the multidisciplinary care that’s required to take care of patients with cancer,” program committee chair Lynn Schuchter, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, told MedPage Today. “Dr. Vose wanted to emphasize the importance of attracting medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgical oncologists to the meeting and having those disciplines involved in the review and content.”

ASCO Framework 2.0

How does ASCO’s revised “value framework” compare to much-maligned work product of ICER?

Dr. Robert Goldberg compares the two frameworks and is offering praise for ASCO’s work to incoporate the interests of patients. Among several differences, ASCO’s revised framework adopts the hazard ratio. Goldberg explains that this “replaces absolute increases in benefit with one that measures the probability of benefit as the standard measure.”

The revised framework also stopped isolating “cancer drugs as the thing that will destroy the American economy.” Goldberg notes that this time around ASCO has distanced itself from using the value framework as a tool for insurance companies to deny access to life-saving treatments.

“In sum, the ASCO value framework is an improvement over it’s first version,” Goldberg concludes. “It is more patient-centered and less a tool for policy making and political attacks.”

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