Issue 41 - Nov 4, 2016
  • MD Anderson Projects $450 Million Loss in Fiscal 2017

    MD Anderson Cancer Center lost $267.1 million on its operations in fiscal 2016. Now, a month into fiscal 2017, America’s largest cancer center is on track to lose $400 million to $450 million.

    In a confidential report intended for department chairs, MD Anderson’s administration attributes the operating loss to four factors:

    • Epic system (tools, reports, technology fixes);

    • Providers – Capacity (Mondays & Fridays; weekends for select services; services at right location);

    • Demand (wait times, rate of incoming calls/requests to set up appointments);

    • Insurance coverage.

  • Cancer Moonshot Research Dollars Must Go to NCI—Not NIH—Groups Say

    Nearly 50 cancer-related organizations urged Congressional leaders to ensure that funds slated for research in the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative go directly to NCI—as opposed to NIH or any other federal entity.

    The letter, dated Nov. 3, was authored by One Voice Against Cancer, a broad coalition that convenes on national funding and policy issues in oncology.

    “It is … imperative that funding provided for Cancer Moonshot research be specifically directed to NCI,” the letter states.

  • San Antonio’s CTRC Joins MD Anderson Network

    The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and MD Anderson Cancer Center announced an affiliation to create a cancer care program in San Antonio.

    Under the agreement announced earlier this week, MD Anderson will join forces with the Cancer Therapy & Research Center of the UT Health Science Center.

  • Guest Editorial

    A Countdown: Top 10 Problems With NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

    For nearly a half century, much of the “war on cancer” has been fought at NCI-designated cancer centers, the 69 major medical schools and free-standing research institutes have this designation.

    All the big names are there: UCLA, Stanford, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dana-Farber, MD Anderson, etc.  The NCI “designates” centers for containing organizational structures that create synergies among cancer researchers.  Designated centers promote multi-disciplinary collaborations, provide scientific tools too expensive for individual laboratories (core resources), incentivize translation of scientific ideas into therapies, etc.

  • In Brief

    • Inova and UVA partnership to establish NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center
    • Eckhardt named director of LIVESTRONG Cancer Institute
    • Kachinc elected president of American Board of Radiology
    • O’Connell receives ACCC Research Award; Presant receives David King Award
    • ASCO and Innovative Oncology Business Solutions collaborate on medical home program
    • UPMC collaborates on radiation therapy center in Ireland
    • Schulman IRB launches central oncology review
    • Engleka joins Burson-Marsteller
    • Cincinnati practice joins US Oncology Network
    • Merck and ACS publish report on Global burden of cancer in women
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Roche receives FDA approval for Tecentriq complementary diagnostic in NSCLC
    • BMS receives Health Canada conditional approval for Opdivo-Yervoy combination
    • Hoffmann-LaRoche’s Alecensaro receives Health Canada approval NSCLC
    • Novogen and Genentech enter in commercialization agreement got glioblastoma multiforme drug candidate
    • NICE recommends Eribulin for locally advanced metastatic breast cancer
Issue 40 - Oct 28, 2016
  • ACA Premiums Up by 25%—Why?

    How Will Oncology Be Affected?

    HHS officials earlier this week announced that health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act plans will, on the average, increase by 25 percent next year.

    Experts say that this could be happening at least in part because patients who signed up for the ACA exchanges turned out to be sicker and older than underwriters originally anticipated.

  • Public Health Groups Sue to Force FDA to Mandate Graphic Warnings on Cigarettes

    Eight public health and medical groups filed suit in federal court to force FDA to issue a final rule requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and advertising.

    The lawsuit was filed in Boston by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Truth Initiative, and several individual pediatricians.

  • COA Reports More Attrition of Cancer Clinics

    Since 2008, 1,581 community oncology practices have closed, been acquired, merged, or are struggling to stay open, according to the 2016 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report.

    “An average of 3.6 practices have closed per month since COA began tracking this data,” said Bruce Gould, president and medical director of Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, and president of the Community Oncology Alliance, in a statement.

  • Drugs and Targets

    • Keytruda Is First Checkpoint Inhibitor To Get Approval for Front Line NSCLC
    • Xtandi Receives FDA Approval for Supplemental New Drug Application
    • YS-ON-001 granted orphan drug designation by FDA
  • In Brief

    • Achilefu Gets DOD Distinguished Investigator Award in Breast Cancer
    • Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced NY-Cuba Partnership for U.S. Clinical Trial of a Cuban Immunotherapy
    • Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee State University receive continued federal funding from U54 Partners in Eliminating Cancer Disparities Grants 
    • Grace Lu-Yao joins the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson
    • Sharon Byers named chief development and marketing officer of the American Cancer Society
    • Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital expands the Winship Cancer Institute
    • Ellen and Gary Davis give $2 million to Weill Cornell Medicine 
    • Varian Medical Systems and McKesson Specialty Health announce a strategic agreement
Issue 39 - Oct 21, 2016
  • Biden Delivers Task Force Report—

    Five Moonshot Goals in Cancer

    Vice President Joe Biden and the National Cancer Moonshot Task Force published their final reports Oct. 17, summarizing the moonshot’s achievements, and outlining five strategic goals and action plans for the years to come.

    The two reports conclude the 2016 National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, and the Obama administration’s efforts to develop a national conversation on cancer research.

  • Obama: The Moonshot, “Architecture and a Framework” for Cancer Research

    President Barack Obama accepted Vice President Joe Biden and the National Cancer Moonshot Task Force’s reports—blueprints for how the federal government should focus on cancer research, oncology bioinformatics, and patient access and care over the next few years.

    “This all comes down to, ‘How does it impact patients?’ And so Joe, I think, has done a great job in engaging people who are going through battling cancer right now, and finding ways that we’re not just coming up with cures, but we’re also making sure that these systems are set up so that they’re easier for people to access,’ Obama said at a press conference Oct. 17.

  • LLS Starts Beat AML Master Trial

    After four decades of few improvements in the treatment for acute myeloid leukemia, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has launched a precision medicine trial to identify targeted treatments for patients with AML.

    The society’s trial—called Beat AML Master Trial—was announced by Vice President Joe Biden Oct. 17 at a White House event rolling out Moonshot-related initiatives.

  • Califf, Bach, Jasin, Offit, Venter Among New Members of NAM

    The National Academy of Medicine announced today the election of 70 regular members and nine international members during its annual meeting. 

    The NAM Articles of Organization stipulate that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from fields outside the health professions.

  • In Brief

    • Fuchs Named Director at Yale
    • Cox Wins Statistics Top Prize
    • David Cella received National Academy of Medicine Gustav O. Lienhard Award
    • Marcio Fagundes and Michael Chuong joined the Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida’s integrated Radiation Oncology Department
    • The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center announced a partnership that will make Tempus as a preferred partner
    • Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. awarded ATCC
    • Carol Burke elected president of the American College of Gastroenterology
    • The Pan Mass Challenge raised $47 million
    • The Scripps Research Institute and the California Institute for Biomedical Research announced the signing of a strategic affiliation
  • Drugs and Targets

    • Lartruvo gets accelerated approval for sarcoma
    • Tecentriq approved for a type of NSCLC
    • Venclyxto granted a positive opinion from the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use
    • Onivyde in combination with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin received marketing authorization from The European Commission
    • CDC recommended 11-to-12-year-olds receive two doses of HPV vaccine
    • IBM Watson Health and Quest Diagnostics launched IBM Watson Genomics from Quest Diagnostics