20140613 - Jun 13, 2014
ISSUE 24 – JUNE 13, 2014PDF



Judge’s Order Likely to Derail Federal Rule Clarifying 340B Drug Discount Program

Many people love the 340B Drug Pricing Program. 

Hospitals, clinics and cancer centers rely on it to buy drugs at discounts as deep as 50 percent—and then collect reimbursements that don’t reflect the discount. 

Many others hate 340B, arguing that the federal program gives qualified providers an unfair advantage, and making it even more difficult for office-based oncology practices to survive. 

Guest Editorial
OHSU’s Brian Druker on Accelerating the Pace of Scientific Progress

We are facing a disturbing paradox in science. We have unprecedented potential for advancements spurred by current technologies. But at the same time we are confronting flat to declining funding. 

This climate provides a unique opportunity to examine and improve how we fund research. 

photoGroups Organize Capitol Hill Push for Lung Cancer Screening

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have another six months to decide whether to cover low-dose computed tomography screening. Yet, proponents of screening seem unwilling to take the chance that Medicare coverage would be restrictive.

To tilt the scale in their favor, they have launched two congressional sign-on letters to CMS.

photoCancer Survivors Face Greater Economic Burdens, Study Says

Cancer survivors face higher medical costs and productivity losses when compared to people without a cancer history, according to a CDC study published June 13. 

photoAs Cigars Gain Popularity Among High School Boys, Legacy Urges FDA Regulation

The number of high school boys who smoke cigars—16.5 percent—is now on par with cigarette use, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

photoIn Brief

  • Kraft named director of University of Arizona Cancer Center

  • St. Jude redesignated as an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • AstraZeneca CAMCAR, S.A. partners with Cancer Genetics Inc.

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering forms collaboration with Quest Diagnostics

  • Merck signs agreement with Sysmex Inostics GmbH

  • ASCO publishes suvivorship compendium

  • International health organizations publish guidelines for establishing cancer registries

  • Association of Clinical Research Professionals coordinator designation recognized by ANCC Magnet program

  • The Cancer Letter receives the 2014 Dateline Award for Excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists

20140530 - May 30, 2014
ISSUE 22 – MAY 30, 2014PDF


DePinho Explains Tenure Decision,
Professors Dispute Key Details

Confronted with the prospect of censure by an academic freedom group, Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, is defending his decision to deny tenure renewal to two faculty members.

Responding to an inquiry by the American Association of University Professors, DePinho said that his critics are incorrect in asserting that his administration gave no formal explanation for denying tenure renewal to two faculty members.

photoDePinho’s Letter to the AAUP

Responding to an inquiry by the American Association of University Professors, MD Anderson Cancer Center President Ronald DePinho said his critics are incorrect in asserting that his administration gave no formal explanation for denying tenure renewal to two faculty members.

photoBoyd’s Rebuttal

Douglas Boyd, a professor at MD Anderson, sent his own letter to the American Association of University Professors, responding to DePinho’s version of events.

Boyd is chair of MD Anderson’s Faculty Senate Promotion & Tenure Issues Committee.

photoMoffitt, Ohio State Form Network,
Invite Major Cancer Centers to Join

Moffitt Cancer Center and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute earlier this week announced that they are constructing a bioinformatics framework that would enable a multi-center collaboration.

photo
ASCO 2014 Annual Meeting: The Special Awards

 

photoFunding Opportunity
DoD Offering $10.5 Million for Lung Cancer Research

The Department of Defense Lung Cancer Research Program will provide $10.5 million to support innovative, high-impact lung cancer research during fiscal 2014.

photoIn Brief

  • Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium names Susan Goodin exec. officer

  • ASCO launches online resource center for the Affordable Care Act

  • James Graham Brown Cancer Center receives $5.5 million grant

  • MD Anderson signs consulting agreement with Concord Medical Services Holdings for hospital projects in Beijing and Shanghai

  • Mayo Clinic signs agreement with N-of-One for molecular diagnostics

  • CDC is recruiting for director of the Division of Cancer Prevention

photoDrug Approvals

  • FDA approves Vectibix in mCRC with KRAS companion diagnostic

  • European CHMP issues positive opinions for Arzerra in CLL and Halaven in metastatic breast cancer

20140516 - May 16, 2014
ISSUE 20 – MAY 16, 2014PDF


Over $20 Million Carved Out
From Statistical, Operations Centers

The budgets of operations and statistical centers of adult clinical trials groups were cut by about $20.4 million, group chairs say.

The cuts make it difficult for the groups to continue to support ongoing trials and raise questions about the prospects for starting a new generation of trials. 

NCI officials say that, overall, the budget for the groups is staying flat, in part because some of the money is being channeled into 30 sites that received the Lead Academic Participating Site designation. 

LAPS, which are run by cancer centers, will be allowed to charge more for putting patients on studies. 

So where are the cuts? 

photoNo Justification Provided
AAUP Demands Reinstatement of Faculty Denied Tenure Renewal at MD Anderson

The American Association of University Professors sent a letter to Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, urging the reinstatement of two faculty members who were denied tenure renewal without stated reasons.

The letter is a part of AAUP’s response to a request for an investigation, which was triggered by the administration’s refusal to provide justification for denying tenure renewals to faculty who received unanimous votes for renewal from the Faculty Senate Promotions & Tenure Committee. 

photoReport: Rising Treatment Costs Due to 340B Discounts

The 340B drug discount program is causing a rise in the costs of treating cancer patients, according to a new report.

Published by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the report, “Innovations in Cancer Care and Implications for Health Systems,” showed that marketplace behaviors, triggered by a lack of eligibility integrity, are a major reason for increasing costs of cancer care, said the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B in a statement.

photoTGen and George Mason Form Precision Medicine Alliance

The Translational Genomics Research Institute and George Mason University announced a strategic research alliance May 6.
Called the TGen-George Mason Molecular Medicine Alliance, the effort is designed to recommend medications and treatments to clinicians based on each patient’s molecular profile.

photoIn Brief

  • Oncology Nursing Society names board of directors

  • American College of Radiology names new officers

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celldex Therapeutics Inc. enter agreement

  • Moffitt Cancer Center collaborates with Vermillion Inc.

  • Children’s Oncology Drug Alliance helps form international collaborative