Further Exploring Biomarker-Based Testing-and Reimbursement

Oncology Live Urologists in Cancer Care®October 2014
Volume 3
Issue 5

When it comes to biomarker-based cancer treatment, there are nearly endless avenues to explore.

OncLive Chairman,

Mike Hennessy

When it comes to biomarker-based cancer treatment, there are nearly endless avenues to explore. That’s why the second part in our series on molecular tests that can help guide the diagnosis, prognosis,and/or treatment of genitourinary cancers continues this month with comprehensive coverage of both the status of these tools in bladder, renal, and testicular cancers, and of physician reimbursement for their use.

In these three cancer types, the development of biomarker-based tests is in its infancy. Still, on OncLive, we offer details about the handful of biomarker-based tests already on the market in these disease states—most of them in the area of bladder cancer. With the help of insights from experts including Brian Rini, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, our article goes on to look at promising biomarkers in each of these cancer types that could, eventually, lead to the development of more such tests.

Complementing that article is an interview with a leader of MolDX, a Medicare pilot program that has absorbed a lot of the responsibility, nationally, for determining which molecular tests should be covered by public and private healthcare insurance, and which should not.

As you flip through the rest of this issue, you will find an article explaining a recent update to the American Society of Clinical Oncology/Cancer Care Ontario guideline on treating metastatic prostate cancer. Along with a concise summary of the guideline’s recommendations, we offer a look at how the two groups came to their decisions about each of the drugs.

In a related piece this month, an interview with Nicholas Vogelzang, MD, of US Oncology, addresses the guideline’s treatment of sipuleucel-T (Provenge), and explains why Vogelzang frequently uses the drug in his patients with prostate cancer.

Meanwhile, in a third interview, we learn the thoughts of a lead investigator of enzalutamide in the pre-chemotherapy setting about this new indication.


Also within this issue, Leonard Gomella, MD, of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, explains his concerns about coding as it will affect reimbursement for the treatment of genitourinary cancers.

Elsewhere in the magazine, a medical fellow challenges the thinking of urologists and other physicians by discussing three case studies in which mistakes could have been avoided had doctors stepped away from assumptions and considered less obvious factors with the potential to affect diagnoses.

Further, we are proud to offer coverage of recent news in the urology field, including a study noting a rise in robotic-assisted prostatectomy, another tracking a rise in bladder infections following prostate biopsy, and a third demonstrating evidence of a potential link between male pattern baldness and aggressive prostate cancer.

Also in the news are updates on a number of investigational drugs being tested in genitourinary cancers, including anti-PD-1 agent pembrolizumab.

We hope that you find the diverse array of information on OncLivethought-provoking and useful.

As always, thank you for reading.

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