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FDA UPDATE as of 11/3/15 — Promising Drug from ASCO Now Accepting Applicants for New Study

Posted on November 3, 2015

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FDA UPDATE as of November 3, 2015 – Merck has just announced that the FDA has given pembrolizumab (Keytruda) breakthrough status, which will speed up the development and review for FDA approval. The update was a result of the findings in the ongoing phase II study, which demonstrated high response rates with pembrolizumab in patients with heavily pretreated colorectal cancer with a specific type of tumor. In addition to the phase II study, Merck is planning to launch a phase III trial. We will continue to keep you updated as more details emerge.

Dr. Laura detailed the results of the phase II study that was presented at ASCO this summer back in June. Read more

Proposed Non-Discrimination Rule: An Important Protection for Cancer Patients

Posted on October 15, 2015

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For cancer patients, or anyone with a chronic disease, one of the most valuable elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that you cannot be denied health insurance based on a pre-existing condition. Unfortunately, some health plans appeared to negate this protection by offering “adverse tiering” as a plan component. What this means is particular drugs used to treat a specific condition are likely to have an extremely high co-pay or co-insurance requirement. For example, cancer and HIV drugs were most likely to be placed with high co-pays that are costly and out of reach for most Americans. What this comes down to is someone with cancer could buy health insurance without issue, but if they choose a plan with adverse tiering, they may not be able to afford the drugs used to treat their condition.

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Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations

Posted on October 8, 2015

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Same Tests Recommended: Expect the Same Outcome – Stagnant Screening Rates

Since 1984 the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has sought to improve health in America by providing recommendations on how to best prevent disease. However, in their newly released draft recommendations on screening for colon cancer, their approach seems to reinforce known barriers to screening by failing to endorse proven screening methods for individuals unable or unwilling to have a colonoscopy.

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Colon Health Alert: FDA Approves Lonsurf® (TAS-102)

Posted on October 1, 2015

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The FDA has approved the use of Lonsurf as a treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. This new drug gives patients another treatment option when they stop responding to other chemotherapy or biologic treatments.

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How Long Was Your Colonoscopy?

Posted on September 22, 2015

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While the idea of a speedy colonoscopy might sound appealing—get in, get out, get lunch!—a recent study shows  a longer-than-average colonoscopy and withdrawal time could help you determine the quality of your screening. 

The good news is we’re not talking about hours here—as little as two extra minutes of scoping around could make a difference.

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