The Cost of Some New Cancer Drugs Spiral Out of Reach for Some Patients

The Cost of Some Medications Is Rising
The Cost of Some Medications Is Rising

The last few years have brought exciting advances in immunotherapy for cancer, but innovation has come at a price … literally. Skyrocketing costs for cancer drugs are making them inaccessible for many who would benefit the most.

Cancer Drugs: The Price of Success

During the 10-year period between 2005 and 2015, Big Pharma’s pipeline of cancer drugs increased by 63 percent, with several reaching the market. As a result, the global market is projected to grow from $16.9 billion in 2015 to an astounding $75.8 billion in 2022.

But while competition generally serves to drive prices down, that’s not happening with the new cancer drugs. Factors such as market exclusivity, insurance plan structures and lack of head-to-head comparison studies combine to keep prices high.

One example is checkpoint inhibitors, which release the systemic “brakes” preventing the immune system from recognizing and attacking cancer cells. Bristol, Merck, Roche and Pfizer all have checkpoint inhibitors on the market, but each has an annual price tag approaching $150,000.

What’s the Answer?

Experts see no evidence that pharmaceutical companies, driven by the current free rein on pricing, are exploring more cost-effective solutions. President Donald Trump and lawmakers from both parties are prioritizing a search for methods to restrain spiraling cancer drug costs, ranging from more price negotiation to faster approval.

Issels® Leads the Field in Immunotherapy for Cancer

While the medical community and lawmakers grapple with the finances of immunotherapy for cancer, we have been successfully treating patients with individually developed non-toxic protocols for years. Contact us today to learn more about cancer vaccines, NK cells and other immunotherapy programs at Issels®.

Could Where You Live in Your Time Zone Affect Your Cancer Risk?

Does Your Time Zone Impact Cancer?
Tired When You Get Up? Could Your Time Zone Impact Cancer?

While the hour may be the same throughout a time zone, the degrees of sunlight and darkness are not. A recent study suggests that this quirk of nature may be linked to an increased cancer risk.

When Day Becomes Night

A research team at the National Cancer Institute was inspired by previous research showing slightly higher cancer risk among people who work the night shift. This finding was attributed to circadian disruption, which is a change in the body’s biological clock.

Shift workers experience extreme circadian disruption owing to almost complete reversal of day and night. The NCI researchers set out to see if the increased risk of cancer applied to minor disruptions in the body’s natural rhythms, referred to as social jet lag.

The most common example of social jet lag is rising at different times on work days and weekends, but the phenomenon also occurs with people living on either end of a time zone, where light and dark come at different times.

Effects of Social Jet Lag on Cancer Risk

After reviewing data from 4 million white adults who had been diagnosed with cancer, the NCI team found each five degrees of longitude toward the west resulted in an increased risk of three percent for men and four percent for women. Greater risk was also found specifically for breast cancer, prostate cancer and uterine cancer.

Issels®: Leading the Way in Immunotherapy for Cancer

Our Issels® clinic has been in the forefront of state-of-the-art immunotherapy for cancer treatments. Contact us to learn more about our personally tailored integrative programs.

In the News: Low Dose Aspirin Reduces Cancer Death Risk

Low Dose Aspirin Therapy
Low Dose Aspirin Therapy May Reduce Cancer Death Risk

Could aspirin become a powerful weapon in immunotherapy for cancer? Researchers have found evidence that a daily regimen of low-dose aspirin may lower the mortality rate of cancer patients.

An Aspirin a Day

Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug that has been used as a pain reliever since the days of ancient Egyptians. In early April, attendees at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Washington, D.C. learned why aspirin also holds promise for treating cancer patients.

Yin Cao, an instructor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, reviewed data from long-term health studies involving both men and women. While the overall risk of death was lower for individuals who took a daily dose of aspirin, Cao found that the risk of dying from cancer was 7 percent lower in women and 15 percent lower in men.

The connection was most dramatic with colorectal cancer, as women had a 31 percent lower risk and men’s risk was 30 percent lower. Significant reductions were also found among women with breast cancer and men with prostate or lung cancer.

Is Aspirin Treatment for Everyone?

Despite the encouraging results, Cao offered a note of caution for anyone considering this course of medication. Aspirin increases risk of ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, so Cao emphasized the importance of consulting with your doctor before undertaking a daily program.

Issels®: Fighting Cancer and Its Causes

Our immunotherapy for cancer treatment programs go beyond eliminating tumors to helping your immune system regain its natural defense mechanisms. Contact us to learn more about cancer vaccines and our other personally tailored integrative programs.