Consumer guide for cancer drugs may be an effective decision-making aide

the ONA take:

The American Society of Clinical Oncology task force of cancer physicians, patient advocates, and insurance and pharmaceutical company representatives has devised a “Value Framework” for available cancer drugs. The decision aide is intended to help physicians and patients weigh the pluses and minuses of treatment options for a wide range of cancers.

The Value Framework uses a rating system to assess a drug’s effectiveness in extending life for cancer patients and the number and severity of side effects. Although cost is not a direct factor in a drug’s net health benefit score, it is a significant factor in patient decisions on treatment and was crucial to the development of the decision aide.

Factors that make up a drug’s net health benefit index is how many more months of progression-free survival clinical trial participants had compared with those on standard treatments, number and severity of toxicities or unwanted side effects. The decision aide would also provide the treatment’s monthly cost.

One drawback of the Value Framework is that much of its initial information is based on established medical practices and research that predates current precision medicine practices. As the genetics of cancers advance, many drugs are found to offer benefit to a subset of patients, rather than to a wide group.

The task force is optimistic that the Value Framework will be able to keep up with the advances being made in precision medicine. They anticipate that the value of certain treatment regimens may be refined over time.

Statin drugs deny prostate cancer cells access to needed hormones, delaying disease progression
The American Society of Clinical Oncology task force has devised a “Value Framework” for available cancer drugs.
A task force of cancer doctors announced Monday that it has devised a decision-making aid to help physicians and their patients weigh the pluses and minuses of newly available options for treating malignancy, including their costs.
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