The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Provides Equity Financing to OncoPep to Support Clinical Trial for Myeloma Vaccine

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and OncoPep have entered a partnership to advance an experimental cancer vaccine to treat patients with smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), an asymptomatic stage of myeloma.

The partnership is through LLS’s Therapy Acceleration Program® (TAP), through which LLS forges collaborations with biotechnology companies to help bring therapies to patients faster. (more…)

AACR to Co-host 2014 Turning the Tide Against Cancer National Conference

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Personalized Medicine Coalition, and Feinstein Kean Healthcare are convening the second national conference on Turning the Tide Against Cancer Through Sustained Medical Innovation which will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 9, at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. (more…)

Drug Shows Promise for Subset of Stage III Colon Cancer Patients

A subset of patients with stage III colon cancer had improved survival rates when treated with irinotecan-based therapy, according to a new study in Gastroenterology,1 the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

When added to the standard chemotherapy treatment — fluorouracil and leucovorin — adjuvant irinotecan therapy improved overall survival rates for patients with the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP). CIMP is seen in about 10 to 20 percent of colorectal cancers. Patients with CIMP-negative tumors, however, exhibited significant harm from the addition of irinotecan — overall survival was 68 percent compared with 78 percent for those receiving the standard treatment alone. (more…)

Tiger Star Jack Riewoldt Tells of His Brush With Skin Cancer

Tiger Jack Reiwoldt had a melanoma in 2007 and has regular checks to ensure he is clear.

Tiger Jack Reiwoldt had a melanoma in 2007 and has regular checks to ensure he is clear.

TIGERS star Jack Riewoldt has revealed a battle with skin cancer that may have brought him within fractions of a millimetre of death.

The melanoma on his back was removed, but the full forward must return for tests every six months to ensure that the cancer has not returned.

Specialists check his skin, including his armpits and between his toes, for moles, and his glands to ensure they are not swelling and that there is no cancer in his bloodstream. (more…)

Santa Monica Ferris Wheel, Other Landmarks, To Light Up For Cancer Telethon

68098 full

The Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier in California and more than a dozen landmarks across the U.S. and Canada will light up to promote next week’s “Stand Up to Cancer” telethon.

Organizers say the buildings that will be illuminated starting tomorrow in advance of the hour-long cancer fundraiser airing Sept. 5 on 31 U.S. broadcast and cable networks. It also will stream live on Hulu and Yahoo in the U.S.

The buildings that will be illuminated also include Rockefeller Center in New York, Toronto’s CN tower, the Wrigley Building in Chicago, etc. All the lights will be some combination of SU2C’s signature colors: red, orange, yellow or white. (more…)

MMC Cancer Center Hits High Mark with Accreditation of Cancer-Treatment Programs

LAS CRUCES >> The Cancer Center Program at Memorial Medical Center has received a three-year accreditation to put the Las Cruces hospital on par with facilities nationwide offering the same level of cancer care to their patients. The accreditation came as a result of MMC meeting and exceeding 34 quality care standards set by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, who granted the accreditation. Dr. William Adler, medical director of the MMC Cancer Center, said the hospital has been working on the accreditation for more than four years and was required to meet myriad guidelines surrounding the quality of care at the facility. (more…)

UC Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Center Receives Accreditation

Cincinnati—The University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center has received a three-year accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program of the American College of Surgeons.

The NAPBC represents a consortium of national, professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast, and accreditation by the program is only granted to centers that have undergone a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. (more…)

You Think Financing U.S. Health Care Is Bizarre? Check Out 340B Drug Pricing

Ms. Sally Pipes’ latest post is the most recent installment in a long-running debate over the U.S. government’s 340B drug pricing program, which requires drug manufacturers to provide drugs to certain health-care facilities at significantly reduced prices. It throws into sharp relief the truly bizarre ways by which we finance health care in this country. Let me count these ways.

1. Over half a century’s tenacious wrangling over universal health insurance makes clear our reluctance to extend comprehensive health insurance to millions of lower-income Americans who cannot afford the premiums for such coverage. On average, these uninsured receive about half the health caresimilarly situated insured Americans receive. (more…)

A ‘Two Americas’ Take On Health Care Costs

The 2010 Affordable Care Act made health care more affordable for millions of people. Those with existing medical conditions can now buy insurance that is no longer staggeringly expensive. There are subsidies for many more. And, outside of Texas and 23 other states, Medicaid has been expanded to allow those living on the edge of poverty to get care.

For Medicare recipients, premium increases have slowed to a halt.

But has that made health care more affordable for everyone else? (more…)

Patient Worries Emerge Over Chargemasters at Pittsburgh’s Regional Hospitals

By Steve Twedt

Once Pennsylvania Insurance Department officials sign off on Highmark’s transition plan for separating from UPMC, Highmark members may learn they have more access to UPMC physicians and facilities than they expected — but it could come at a very steep price.

They also may soon become familiar with a new term: chargemaster.

The chargemaster is a hospital’s master list of how much it will charge for services, including every treatment, test, scan and aspirin. But, unlike a restaurant that lists meal prices on a menu, the hospital prices are secret and — almost uniformly — many times higher than what the service actually cost the hospital to provide. (more…)