Nancy Nixon, MD
The number of investigational biosimilars continues to grow, but their successful integration into routine cancer care will hinge on greater awareness and education, said Nancy Nixon, MD, a medical oncologist at The University of Calgary.
“For patients, it's important to ask your healthcare provider if you have questions and [need] guidance on understanding the differences [between biosimilars and biologics]. For physicians, it’s the same,” said Nixon, lead author of a retrospective study on the evolution of biosimilars in oncology. “If you have questions, there are different venues for education. It's important to feel comfortable with what you're using. The more we educate ourselves, the more comfortable we'll become.”
In December 2017, MYL-1401O (Ogivri; trastuzumab-dkst) became the first FDA-approved biosimilar for trastuzumab (Herceptin) with indications in HER2-positive breast cancer and metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Biosimilars offer the potential to reduce the cost of cancer care; however the retrospective study revealed that complexities in manufacturing, assessment, price, and clinical utility will pose significant hurdles in the process.
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