Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: May 26

Today's breast cancer news addressed the cost of breast cancer treatment.

Those with high co-pays more likely to discontinue aromatase inhibitor therapy

Last night, Reuters reported on a Journal of Clinical Oncology study which found that women with high insurance co-pays were more likely to discontinue taking aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex (anastrazole). Dr. Alfred Neugut, from Columbia University Medical Center, noted that less than 50 percent of women complete the recommended 5 years of treatment. Those who don't complete the 5 years "lose most or all of the survival benefit from the therapy."

"The Costly War on Cancer"

Today, The Economist examined the high cost of new, targeted therapies for breast cancer treatments such as Avastin (bevacizumab) and Herceptin (trastuzumab). The story considered factors such as the shift towards personalized medicine, where new drugs treat fewer patients, patent protections, government programs and private insurance. The author noted that one "important benefit" of America's "propensity to pay," was that it encouraged "reinvestment in research."

The Avastin debate continues

With the FDA hearing on Avasin (bevacizumab) for metastatic patients approaching, the public debate continues. Yesterday, the New York Times published an op-ed, titled "Drugs and Profits" detailing why Avastin should not be approved. Today, a reply ran in There are strong opinions on both sides of the fence.

At, we'll continue to keep you updated on the Avastin FDA appeal. In the meantime, you'll find all the news and research for every test and treatment option on our website.

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