Lung Cancer: Immunotherapy Treatment Option

Thanks to anti-smoking campaigns and plummeting smoking rates over the past 20 years, the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer has declined significantly in that same time period. Even so, lung cancer stubbornly remains the second most common cancer in both men and women and accounts for nearly one in every eight new cancers,…

Compliance in the Long Haul

Treating cancer is not always about a cure, sometimes it is more realistic to aim for controlling it long term as a chronic condition, which is a topic I explored earlier this year in Cancer Cure Vs. Control. It can be appropriate in some cases to control cancer with the goal of keeping it from…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Turning the Body into a Cancer-Fighting Machine

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy The body’s immune system possesses all the tools it needs to kill cancer cells, so why does cancer sneak past our defenses so many times? Cancer cells – in an elaborate game of cat and mouse – employ numerous techniques to cloak themselves…

Even Successful Treatment Can Come With Unintended Effects

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy   The relationship between breast cancer and a woman’s wallet is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that women who survive breast cancer treatment are, well, alive. The bad news is that a significant number of these women deal with…

Better Cancer Screening Tests

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Screening tests are well-known and regularly used for several cancers, including breast cancer and cervical cancer; however, there are many other cancer sites that lack an effective early detection tool. That could soon be changing for lung cancer and prostate cancer. Lung cancer…

“It’s Personal”

Guest Blog: Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy BioPlus is committed to supporting and raising awareness of the importance of breast cancer patient education, as well as the importance of early detection and prevention through annual mammograms. Cancer is class of diseases manifesting with abnormal cell growth. There are…

Blood Pressure-Alzheimer’s Connection

Every 68 seconds an American develops Alzheimer’s disease, so chances are that you already know someone battling this terrible disease. In all, there are an estimated 5.2 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Today there are new tantalizing clues that controlling blood pressure could play a role in keeping Alzheimer’s at bay. A cure…

Chemotherapy on the Brain

Simply surviving cancer gives reason enough to celebrate. To sweeten the pot, researchers at the 2013 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference suggest cancer survivors garner another perk: cancer appears to confer protection against developing Alzheimer’s disease. Research presented at this conference drew on data collected from 3.5 million veterans age 65 and older who did not…

Cancer’s Sweet Tooth

Who doesn’t love a sweet treat? Turns out even cancer cells have a penchant for sugar. Sugar serves as an energy source for any cell to grow and replicate – and cancer cells are no different. But here’s where the cancer cell-sugar relationship gets more interesting: cancer-fighting immune cells also need sugar to function. If…

Compliance On the Cancer Front

Guest Blog: Amanda Brown, Director of Rx Coordinators at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Navigating through cancer treatment tends to go better for patients when healthcare professionals offer adherence-promoting tools and proactively manage side effects, concludes a study this month in the journal Cancer Nursing by Sandra Spoelstra, Ph.D. and fellow researchers from Michigan State University. Not…