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Oncology Newsfeed

  • FDA Approves Cabozantinib for Previously Treated HCC

    On January 14, Exelixis, Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved cabozantinib (Cabometyx) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib.

    Read the full Exelixis, Inc. press release here.

    Posted 1/15/2019

  • U.S. Cancer Death Rate Continues 25-Year Decline, ACS Report Finds

    Over the past 25 years, the U.S. has seen a steady decline in the death rate from cancer, according to "Cancer Statistics, 2019," the annual report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) published online January 8, in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

    Between 1991 and 2016, the U.S. saw an overall 27 percent decrease in cancer deaths. The decrease is attributed to reduction in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment of cancer. However, the ACS report finds that not all of the U.S. population is benefiting equally. While the historic racial disparities in cancer death rates are lessening, socioeconomic gaps are widening.

    A companion version of the report, "Cancer Facts & Figures 2019," includes a special section on the oldest old population in the U.S., which includes incidence, mortality rates, trends, survival, treatment, and challenges affecting this growing segment of the population.

    Learn more.

    Posted 1/8/19

  • CMS Opens Data Submission Period for MIPS from 1/2 to 4/2

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has officially opened the data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)-eligible clinicians who participated in Year 2 (2018) of the Quality Payment Program. With the exceptions noted in the paragraph below, data can be submitted and updated any time from January 2, 2019 to April 2, 2019.

    CMS Web Interface users need to report their Quality performance category data between January 22 and March 22, 2019. Also, for clinicians who reported Quality measures via Medicare Part B claims throughout the 2018 performance year, we’ll receive your quality data from claims processed by your Medicare Administrative Contractor, and claims for services furnished during 2018 must be processed within 60 days after the end of the 2018 performance period.

    Clinicians will follow the steps outlined below to submit their data:

    1. Go to the Quality Payment Program website.
    2. Log-in using your QPP access credentials (see below for directions).
    3. Submit your MIPS data for Year 2 (2018).

    To log in and submit data, clinicians will need to use the new HCQIS Authorization Roles and Profile (HARP) system. Previously, clinicians received their credentials through the Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) system. Clinicians are encouraged to log in early to familiarize themselves with the system.

    • Previous EIDM Accounts: For all clinicians who previously had an EIDM account, you were automatically transitioned to HARP, and will use your existing EIDM user ID and password to sign in to the QPP website.
    • New Clinicians: For all clinicians who didn’t have an EIDM account, you’ll need to enroll with HARP. For a step-by-step guide to signing up for a HARP account, refer to the QPP Access User Guide.

    Clinicians who are not sure if they are eligible to participate in the Quality Payment Program can check their eligibility status using the QPP Participation Status Tool.

    To learn more about how to submit data, please review the 2018 MIPS Data Submission FAQs and other resources available in the QPP Resource Library.

    If you have questions about how to submit your 2018 MIPS data, contact the Quality Payment Program by phone: (1-866-288-8292 / TTY: 1-877-715-6222) or email

    Posted 1/2/2019

  • FDA Approves Tagraxofusp-erzs for Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm

    On Dec. 21, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved tagraxofusp-erzs (Elzonris, Stemline Therapeutics), a CD123-directed cytotoxin, for blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) in adults and in pediatric patients 2 years and older.

    Read the FDA announcement here.
    Read the Stemline Therapeutics press release here.

    Posted 12/26/18

  • FDA Approves Calaspargase Pegol-mknl for Pediatric/AYA ALL

    On December 20, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved calaspargase pegol-mknl (Asparlas, Servier Pharmaceuticals LLC), an asparagine specific enzyme, as a component of a multi-agent chemotherapeutic regimen for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in pediatric and young adult patients age 1 month to 21 years.

    Read the full FDA press release here.

    Posted 12/20/2018

  • FDA Approves Olaparib for Ovarian, Fallopian, Peritoneal Cancers

    On December 19, the Food and Drug Administration approved olaparib (Lynparza, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP) for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm or sBRCAm) advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients with gBRCAm advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer should be selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic.

    Read the FDA press release here

    Posted 12/19/2018

  • FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Merkel Cell Carcinoma

    On December 19, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck & Co. Inc.) for adult and pediatric patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

    Read the FDA press release here.

    Posted 12/19/2018

  • ACCC Statement on Administration's MA & Part D Proposal to Tackle Drug Prices

    On Friday, December 14, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) issued a policy statement expressing deep concern regarding the broad impact of the Trump Administration's proposed changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D on the nation's cancer care delivery infrastructure and, in particular, on those cancer programs and practices that see a high percentage of Medicare, Medicare only, and dual eligible patients. 

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the potential changes in a proposed rule that was released on November 26.

    Read ACCC's Policy Statement.

    Posted 12/17/2018

  • FDA Approves Trastuzumab-pkrb for Treatment of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

    On December 14, Celltrion, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced that the FDA has approved trastuzumab-pkrb (Herzuma), a biosimilar to Herceptin, for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer.

    Read the Celltrion press release here.

    Posted 12/17/2018

  • PTAC Votes to Recommend MASON Model

    On Dec. 10, 2018, the Physician-focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) voted (7-0, with 1 abstention) to recommend implementation of the Making Accountable Sustainable Oncology Networks (MASON) model. Innovative Oncology Business Solutions (IOBS) submitted the model. Medical oncologist Barbara McAneny, MD, is CEO and CMO for IOBS, and is currently serving as president of the American Medical Association.

    MASON based on the earlier oncology medical home model COME HOME, which was developed with grant funding from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

    This MedPage Today article explains how the proposed MASON model would work.

    Unlike the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Oncology Care Model program, the MASON model excludes drug costs.

    PTAC recommendations go to HHS and CMS for “potential” implementation.

    Source: MedPage Today
    Posted 12/12/18