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Oncology Patient Advocacy Spotlight

IP Blog | Dave Melin | July 30, 2015

This week in health care trends, our oncology patient advocacy spotlight includes when chemo hurts patients, 2015 oncology approvals, trends in advance care planning, the potential benefits of “prehab”, and Medicaid expansion’s effect on appointment access.

The articles below are from our dedicated Oncology Patient Advocacy e-magazine. You can follow us on Flipboard or Twitter, or just watch for the links to this and our other magazines in our regular weekly BioBlog emails. (Don’t get our emails yet? Subscribe here!)

oncology patient advocacy buttonStudy: Chemo Hurts Patients with End-Stage Cancer

A recent study has found that “chemotherapy does not extend life for end-stage, terminal cancer patients. What’s more, those who received chemotherapy treatment near the end of their disease had a worse quality of life than those who didn’t.”

Overview of Year-to-Date 2015 Oncology Approvals

This in-depth report takes a look at the new indications approved by the FDA for oncology drugs so far in 2015. The article examines “expanded oncology indications for already approved drugs and newly approved oncology agents including Ibrance (palbociclib), Lenvima (lenvatinib), Farydak (panobinostat), and Unituxin (dinutuximab)”.

Trends in Advance Care Planning in Patients with Cancer: Results from a National Longitudinal Survey

This study, published in JAMA Oncology, examined trends for advanced care planning (ACP) and end of life (EOL) issues and set out to “characterize trends in durable power of attorney (DPOA) assignment, living will creation, and participation in discussions of EOL care preferences and to explore associations between ACP subtypes and EOL treatment intensity as reflected in EOL care decisions and terminal hospitalizations.” They found that from 2000-2012 “importantly, there was no growth in key ACP domains such as discussions of care preferences.”

Rehab Before Cancer Treatment Can Help Patients Bounce Back

Early research indicates that patients about to undergo cancer treatment may be able to bounce back faster if they engage in “prehabilitation,” or rehab before they receive treatment. Additional research is underway. Says a spokesperson from the American Cancer Society, “”There are some physiatrists who don’t believe in prehab. They feel like the science isn’t there yet.”

Primary Care Appointment Availability For New Medicaid Patients Increased After Medicaid Expansion in Michigan

A simulated patient study of wait times and appointment availability after Medicare expansion in Michigan found that “appointment availability increased 6 percentage points for new Medicaid patients and decreased 2 percentage points for new privately insured patients, compared to availability before the expansion. Wait times remained stable, at 1–2 weeks for both groups.”

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