August 2014, Vol 3, No 5

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PMO: Advancing the Practitioner’s Ability to Provide Customized Care to Patients

Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO

Letter to Our Readers

Dear Colleague,

Until recently, cancer treatment relied solely on histological diagnosis for determining systemic therapy. Aside from considerations related to a patient’s underlying comorbidities and performance status, there was minimal deviation from an organ-of-origin–based treatment strategy. This relatively primitive understanding of malignancy failed to exploit biological and molecular differences within each cancer type to allow for selection of a more rational therapy and thereby improve patient outcomes. However, exciting strides are currently being made in the field of cancer research and treatment, both with solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, and the available treatment options and physician’s ability to tailor therapies to individual patients have markedly expanded.

Our quest is to advance the practitioner’s ability to provide customized care to his or her patients. We will accomplish this by focusing on technologies and therapeutics available to clinicians and their impact on diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive medicine.

In this issue, you will find an in-depth article on immune checkpoint blockades in metastatic melanoma as well as an update on RAS analysis in colon cancer. The information presented in both articles is critical to oncologists on the front-lines of treating these diseases.

Also in this issue, you’ll hear from the president of the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), Dr Edward Abrahams – the new host of our department The Last Word. Dr Abrahams provides an overview of the signature document of the PMC, The Case for Personalized Medicine.

Thank you for your loyal readership. On behalf of the entire editorial board, it is our pleasure to serve you.

Sincerely,

Al B. Benson III, MD
Coeditor in Chief
Personalized Medicine in Oncology

Value-Based Cancer Care - August 18, 2014

Value-Based Insurance – Not Such an Easy Sell

The need to design insurance coverage that promotes value in cancer care is no longer a matter of debate, but how to accomplish it remains a huge challenge, according to Lee Newcomer, MD, senior vice president, oncology, genetics, and women’s health, UnitedHealthcare, who discussed value in cancer care from the [ Read More ]

Uncategorized - August 18, 2014

PSA Trend Analysis May Help Avoid Unnecessary Biopsies

Delaying a prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-triggered prostate biopsy to allow for additional PSA assessments might have avoided more than 70% of subsequent biopsies, according to a study of negative biopsies for 28,000 men. An analysis based on deceleration of PSA growth rate suggested that 80% of negative biopsies might have been [ Read More ]