ITA Senior Scientist Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD and two PCORT alumni are featured in the WBUR series ‘This Moment in Cancer’. Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, is Chief, Division of Palliative Care and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH is Medical Director, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.

Both Drs. Chhatwal and Jackson are featured in the story ‘From the War on Cancer to the Moonship: ‘What’s different Now is Everything’’. Dr. Chhatwal discusses the affordability of the new, more effective therapies, and Dr. Jackson addresses some shortcomings of the new targeted drug therapies.

Dr. Jackson is also featured in From The 'Lowest Of Lows' To The 'Highest Of Highs': Navigating A New Reality After A Cancer Turnaround

Dr. Lathan discusses how poverty can impact treatment in ‘‘It’s Not An Even Playing Field’: How Financial Instability Takes A Toll On Cancer Patients‘’.

Dr. Chhatwal is interviewed in ‘As Cancer Drugs' Prices Skyrocket, Experts Worry About Burden On Patients, Health Systems’

The entire series is available at http://www.wbur.org/tag/this-moment-in-cancer

A recent study in Radiology found that CT results impact clinical decision making and substantially increase diagnostic confidence among primary care physicians (PCPs).

Ninety-one PCPs completed pre- and post-CT surveys related to the care of 373 patients in institutions across the country.

ITA Director Pari Pandharipande, MD, MPH, was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal concerning incidental findings. 

From the article: "Pari Pandharipande, who chairs a committee on incidental findings at the American College of Radiology, says doctors need “to get better at identifying who will benefit from an incidental finding and who will not.” If 100 patients get spared a surgery for a small tumor and 99 are fine but one gets an aggressive cancer, “you will have failed that one patient,” says Dr. Pandharipande, an associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. As the field tries to create new guidelines for incidental findings, any recommendations should be done “in a safe, responsible, evidence-based” fashion, she says."

Read the entire article at http://www.wsj.com/articles/when-a-medical-test-leads-to-another-and-another-1472494983

Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, a Senior Scientist at the ITA and an Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School was recently quoted in Stat News. In their analysis in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-led research team demonstrates how, at current prices, new targeted therapies for CLL – the most common form of leukemia in the western world – could financially burden patients and payers. 

From the article: 

"'It’s a disturbing concern,' said one of the study authors, Jagpreet Chhatwal, who is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a senior scientist at the Institute for Technology Assessment at Massachusetts General Hospital. 'And it’s happening now in CLL… Drug prices have to come down to make them more effective and more affordable.'

He suggested that CLL prices should be rolled back by at least 50 to 75 percent to make the medicines more cost effective. The researchers noted that, while the standard measurement of cost effectiveness is whether a medicine costs less than $100,000 for each additional year of life gained, the projected cost of CLL pills is $189,000."

Other authors of the study are Co-lead authors Qiushi Chen, PhD of the ITA, and Nitin Jain, MD of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Additional authors are Turgay Ayer, PhD, MSc, Georgia Institute of Technology; William Wierda, MD, PhD, Michael Keating, MBBS, and Hagop Kantarjian, MD, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Christopher Flowers, MD, Emory University; and Susan O’Brien, MD, University of California Irvine Medical Center. 

To read the entire article, please visit https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2016/11/21/leukemia-drug-prices/

At the prison hospital inside the California Men’s Colony near San Luis Obispo, 75-year-old Floyd Masterson is waiting to pick up some medication. He carries a walking stick in one hand and a pink appointment slip in the other.  Like the rest of the inmates around him, he’s dressed in a dark blue prison uniform. He has something else in common with many prisoners: hepatitis C. The disease affects about 1 percent of the country’s population as a whole, but 17 percent of those in prison.