Cancer Gone…But Challenges Can Remain

Even years after cancer enters remission or is cured, the story is not necessarily over. There is evidence from multiple sources showing that side effects and related issues can linger, causing ongoing problems for cancer survivors. Bringing this little-known problem into the light of day can help cancer survivors deal with the issues head-on for…

Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple Nutrients Eyed

Multiple sclerosis is a disease involving chronic inflammation. Could it be that anti-inflammatory nutrients – or a lack thereof – play a role in who develops this disease? Surely, the cure to this disease is not as simplistic as consuming abundant amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, but there are interesting developments in some small…

Making Assumptions

Many physicians would likely be surprised to learn that their patients are not as faithful at taking important medications as they think. Medication adherence continues to be a drain on optimal treatment outcomes for serious diseases. HealthPrize Technologies, an industry-leading medication adherence and digital patient engagement company, recently surveyed physicians about adherence. The physicians surveyed…

Stick With It

A cure for multiple sclerosis (MS) remains elusive, although there are numerous disease modifying treatments available which aim to calm inflammation and lengthen the time between relapses. Not surprisingly, patients with the most faithful use of their prescriptions have the fewest relapses, says a new study of MS adherence published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis…

Biosimilars: Close to the Real Thing

The issue of “biosimilar” medications has been under debate for years. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on the cusp of approving the first biosimilar. In case you don’t know, biosimilars are less expensive versions of already approved biological medications used for cancer, autoimmune, and other diseases. Biologic medications are typically large…

Cancer: Cure Vs. Control

Not every form of cancer can be cured. Sometimes the best outcome is living with cancer as a chronic condition, as one might with diabetes or heart disease. Controlling – rather than curing – cancer is more likely to be the appropriate course of action with these cancers: ovarian, chronic leukemia, some lymphomas, and metastatic…

Medication Outperforms Chemo for Some Lung Cancers

Lung cancer remains the top cancer killer in the United States for both men and women. There are different forms of lung cancer, but the most common form is non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC accounts for approximately 85 percent of lung cancer cases, according to the American Cancer Society. For a long time, chemotherapy has…

After the Cure, Expect Many Years

Life after hepatitis C can be sweet, indeed. A patient who achieves a sustained viral response (SVR), which is another term meaning they are cured of the hepatitis C infection, can expect a lifespan just as long as someone who never had this disease. The year just keeps getting better and better for those with…

Treat Hepatitis C Promptly For Your Liver…And Your Heart

As if it’s not bad enough to have chronic hepatitis C infection, with the damage that brings to the liver, it seems that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) also brings other health risks. Naga Pothineni, M.D. from the Division of Cardiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science and fellow researchers looked into the…

Following the Thread of Cancer and Genetics

People who undergo genetic testing for potentially inherited cancers generally do so to be better prepared to understand and deal with their personal cancer risk. This information, however, can also be shared to help cancer researchers in their important work. PROMPT (Prospective Registry of Multi-Plex Testing) is a new online registry in which individuals can…

MS and Sleep Disorders: What’s Next?

Recently, in my blog No Rest for Multiple Sclerosis, the prevalence of sleep disorders in those with multiple sclerosis was explored. Research in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicates that approximately seven in every 10 people with multiple sclerosis appears to have a sleep disorder (such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, or restless legs…

No Rest for Multiple Sclerosis

The fatigue felt by so many people with multiple sclerosis was long thought to be a straight-forward consequence of the disease itself. Late-breaking research appearing in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine seems to be changing the thinking on this topic. It now appears that, for at least some multiple sclerosis patients, fatigue points to…

It Only Works if You Take It

When it comes to medication adherence, the bottom line was well summed up by the former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop when he said: “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” If someone is sick, why wouldn’t they take their medication? It turns out the reasons are varied and complex for patients not…

Leukemia Drug Could Also Help Skin, Breast, and Other Cancers

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy A well-known medication used for a specific type of leukemia now shows promise against several other cancers. This chemotherapy tablet, Sprycel® (dasatinib) from Bristol-Myers Squibb, gained FDA approval for treating chronic myelogenous leukemia in 2010, although it had been approved since 2006 in…

On the Road to Lung Cancer

While smoking is the so-called smoking gun underlying many cases of lung cancer, it’s not the only risk factor for lung cancer. Several lung diseases can also up a person’s risk for lung cancer. New research from a French group called the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that chronic bronchitis and emphysema both…

The Multiple Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

Elvin Montanez, Pharm.D., Senior Vice President at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a tough disease to diagnose, since its symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions. Even after this autoimmune disease is ID’ed, that may not be the end of the story. Today, experts are starting to understand that there is more…

Making Decisions Together: Bringing Patients Into the Conversation

It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease the patient has. — William Osler, M.D., 1913 Understanding the patient being treating can sometimes make more difference to treatment outcomes than knowing which disease is being treated. This nugget of wisdom, noted above…

Options for Aching Joints: RA Meds Go Head to Head

Nearly 1.3 million Americans endure the effects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), leaving them with painful, swollen joints. This disease develops when the immune system mistakenly targets the linings of joints. The current front-line treatment to counteract this autoimmune attack is the medication methotrexate which suppresses inflammation by dampening the body’s immune response. Methotrexate, in a…