Archive for the ‘Clients In The News’ Category

ROS1 cancer patients set out to create disease models

Posted: Aug 15, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on ROS1 cancer patients set out to create disease models

Date: 8/15/17
Outlet: Fierce Biotech
Author: Nick Paul Taylor

A group of cancer patients with the ROS1 mutation has teamed up with a nonprofit and a precision medicine company to create disease models. The collaboration aims to drive forward research into treatments for cancers with the rare ROS1 gene mutation by gathering tissue samples from patients.

Patient group ROS1ders is organizing the project with the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) and Champions Oncology. Members of the patient group will donate tissue taken during biopsies and surgeries. Champions will deploy its knowledge of creating patient-derived xenograft mouse models. And ALCMI will apply its experience from other geographically dispersed studies. cancer

“The study will use online enrollment methods developed by ALCMI for other research studies to enable participation by the global ROS1der community,” ALCMI President and COO Steven Young said in a statement.

This experience is important as the rareness of ROS1, which is found in multiple cancers but only in a few percent of patients, means the study will need to cast its net wide to collect samples. ALCMI, a nonprofit, will also run the study after working with ROS1ders to create the project. If the program succeeds, it will create mouse models and cell lines scientists can use to research new treatments for ROS1 cancers and better understand why tumors develop resistance to existing drugs.

Today, Pfizer’s Xalkori is the only drug approved by the FDA to specifically treat ROS1-positive tumors. Pfizer picked up the nod for the tyrosine kinase inhibitor in patients with ROS1-positive non-small cell lung cancer last year after putting it through a 50-patient, single-arm trial in the indication. The ROS1 approval came five years after the FDA cleared Xalkori for use in patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive tumors.

Pfizer and its collaborators are testing Xalkori in other ROS1 indications. And the Big Pharma is also working on next-generation ALK/ROS1 inhibitor lorlatinib, which picked up breakthrough status from the FDA earlier this year. Drugs from Daiichi Sankyo, Exelixis, Ignyta and Novartis are also being tested in ROS1-positive patients.

Read more from Fierce Biotech here.

Patient Engagement Is Mandatory at Our Table

Posted: Aug 9, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Patient Engagement Is Mandatory at Our Table

Date: 8/9/17
Outlet: American Journal of Managed Care
Author: Bonnie J. Addario and Daryl Pritchard, PhD

The Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation has developed a registry that can serve as a repository for data on patients with lung cancer—a means to empower patients and assist care providers to deliver personalized medicine in a patient-centered manner.

PRECISION MEDICINE ENTAILS the consideration of individual patient characteristics so that doctors, working directly with patients, can develop the best treatment plans for them as early in their care as possible. Treatment strategies should consider the whole person, including their age, medical history, ethnicity, biological characteristics, and other factors. This involves using technologies such as diagnostic tests, molecular profiling platforms, and therapies that directly target disease-causing genetic mutations.

I see the profound impact of precision medicine on patients every day. In 2006, my family and I founded the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF). We started another nonprofit, the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI), in 2008. ALCF works with patients to support research and to advocate for innovative lung cancer medicines and treatments. Both the ALCF and the ALCMI facilitate, fund, and drive research. We work with thousands of patients and their families around the globe, providing free education and support programs, connecting patients with doctors and clinical trials, and funding innovative research.

A lung cancer diagnosis is grim—only 18% of patients survive the disease. In the United States alone, 450 patients die from lung cancer every day. Lung cancer is the top cancer killer of men and women, killing almost twice as many women as any other type of cancer in the United States. Responsible for 26% of all cancer deaths, lung cancer is the second leading cause of all deaths in the country.1

With the rapid pace of developments in precision medicine, I am excited about the potential to shift the paradigm on how we diagnose and treat lung cancer and save lives. Furthermore, in this era of personalized medicine, we have an opportunity to vastly improve clinical trial design, thereby fostering an environment for innovation that can lead to the development of even more novel treatment strategies.

In 2016, for the third year in a row, targeted medicines and diagnostic tests accounted for more than 20% of the new molecular entities approved by the FDA (Figure 1).2 A recent study sponsored by the Personalized Medicine Coalition and conducted by Tufts University found that 42% of all medicines and 73% of cancer medicines in development are potential personalized medicines (Figure 2).3

Patient Input in Clinical Trial Design 

At the ALCF, we strongly believe that patients are our most important partner in clinical research. There would be no clinical research without patients participating in studies and donating their specimens. The traditional clinical trial design process overlooked patient input, which led to profound inefficiencies. Researchers often needed to scrap or redesign their clinical trials to address patient needs and circumstances. We have an opportunity at hand to vastly improve the process. Including patients in clinical trial design and giving them an opportunity to own their data provide a platform to streamline the process by getting it done right, arriving at the endpoints that matter most, and finding ways to most effectively improve health. We need processes for greater patient participation in clinical research. Now is the time to move from concept to practice, and lung cancer is a prime example of where it can work.

I advocate for the need to shift the way we look at clinical research. The current biomedical innovation paradigm, of discoveries moving from the bench to the patient, needs to shift its focus so that clinical researchers first take into consideration the patient and new discoveries move from the patient to the bench and then back to the patient. This will transform research to ensure it is patient driven and truly personalized.

Consider the example of Corey Wood. While attending the University of California, Berkeley, Corey was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. A triathlete and marathon runner, she immediately began doing research about targeted therapies and genomic tests. Once her oncologists zeroed in on the rare genetic mutation that was responsible for Corey’s tumor, they treated her with targeted therapy. Corey now leads the normal life of a 25-year-old thanks to precision medicine. She is passionate about furthering research in the hopes that researchers can develop more effective targeted therapies. Corey owes her life to medical research.

Still, these new and more effective targeted treatments are not useful if we cannot get them to patients. Research and innovation in personalized medicine are surging, but its adoption into clinical practice is relatively slow. In most cases, doctors do not even discuss personalized medicine at the point of care. A recent public survey showed that only 4 of 10 people are aware of personalized medicine and just 11% of patients say their doctor has discussed or recommended personalized medicine treatment options to them.4

Another survey found that most healthcare organizations are unprepared to implement personalized medicine5 and some hospital systems may be placing implementation programs on hold.6 This lag is caused by novel challenges encountered by healthcare delivery systems as they adapt to the new treatments and practices associated with personalized care. What we lack are more patient-driven healthcare delivery approaches and processes that would ensure access to personalized medicine, including comprehensive genomic testing and multidisciplinary care.

Empowering patients to be more engaged in their healthcare through awareness programs and education on the promise of precision medicine would be a good start. The strategy should focus on:

  • Patient involvement in learning about the healthcare system
  • Improving patients’ engagement with their physicians
  • Shifting the control of individual genetic data to patients
  • Encouraging patient participation in the development of treatment guidelines and clinical pathways

Support for precision medicine and patient-centered research is strong, as indicated by several recent legislative initiatives and public policies. Patient-centered directives are included in the Affordable Care Act, and the recently passed 21st Century Cures Act focuses on involving patients in research and care design. The Precision Medicine Initiative, an effort to recruit 1 million volunteers to donate their genetic information for research aimed at finding more effective ways to improve health, and the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, an effort to cut in half the time it takes to discover new personalized cancer treatments, were authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.

These policies underscore the importance of ensuring patients are receiving the appropriate diagnostic tests and personalized treatment. Lung cancer is not one-size-fits-all. Patients who feel they are not receiving the care they need can share the information with regulators by visiting www.mypatientrights.org.

Implementing Changes 

So, what can we do to advance personalized medicine? Patients must have a seat at the table to provide valuable data to drive faster cures. This includes ensuring that there is appropriate patient-driven trial design, clinical trial participation, diagnostic testing, endpoint determination, and data aggregation. We can change the clinical medicine research ecosystem and adapt it to be more patient-centered. This will bring new treatments forward on a shorter timeline.

We need to ensure that community hospitals and physicians are appropriately engaging patients and promoting personalized medicine. The ALCF is doing this by designating hospitals as Lung Cancer Community Centers of Excellence, where patients are assured of multidisciplinary care, tumor boards, genomic testing, and early screenings in these facilities. We can conduct clinical trials at community hospitals so that patients do not have to travel hundreds of miles to participate in one.

The ALCF just launched its patient-powered Lung Cancer Registry,7 a place to gather and store detailed information for patients with lung cancer. The registry directly involves patients in the collection of their information, which allows medical professionals to quickly analyze data to improve patient care. By creating a centralized registry, patients, healthcare professionals, researchers, the pharmaceutical industry, and policy makers have open access to information. Programs such as these will ensure that patients are empowered to educate themselves about their disease so they can receive the best, most personalized treatments possible.

Read more from the American Journal of Managed Care here.

Author Information

Bonnie J. Addario is chair, Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute.

Daryl Pritchard, PhD, is vice president, Science Policy, Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Launches the Lung Cancer Early Detection Challenge: Concept to Clinic

Posted: Aug 8, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Launches the Lung Cancer Early Detection Challenge: Concept to Clinic

$10ALCF logo0,000 prize for clinic-ready software that changes the way radiologists are able to help patients

San Carlos, Calif. (August 8, 2017)–The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is calling on data scientists, software engineers, designers and researchers to build an open source software application that puts advances from machine learning into the hands of practicing clinicians. In addition to creating cutting-edge clinical software that helps detect lung cancer early, top contributors are eligible for a share of $100,000 in prize money.

“The earlier lung cancer can be detected, the better,” said Bonnie J. Addario, a 13-year lung cancer survivor and ALCF founder. “My hope is that the winners of this challenge create software that achieves real change in the way radiologists are able to help patients and save lives now.”

The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 55 percent when the disease is still in the lung, but just four percent once it has spread. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the world, killing more people than the next three most common cancers (breast, colon, prostate) combined. This year physicians will diagnose nearly 225,000 Americans with lung cancer.

ALCF has partnered with DrivenData, a mission-driven company that brings advances from data science and artificial intelligence to organizations tackling the world’s greatest challenges. DrivenData runs online competitions where technical experts from around the world compete to build the best solutions for tough questions in big data and machine learning. The goal of this challenge is to bridge the gap between research algorithms and clinical practice in early detection by developing an end-to-end application, as a community, that connects the predictive power of machine learning with functional software tested against errors and a clean user interface focused on clinical use.

Throughout this challenge, contributors will have the chance to submit code patches that add features to the software, improve functionality and make the predictive algorithms more precise. As project maintainers review and adopt code patches, the most advanced version will become the new starting point for the community to build on.

Meanwhile, contributions that provide meaningful progress can earn points from a technical panel of experts in machine learning, engineering and clinical settings. A live leaderboard will keep track of points earned throughout the challenge. At the end of the challenge, ALCF and DrivenData will award prizes to top overall contributors.

There will also be prizes for top contributors filling key roles throughout the process. The project needs:

  • Data scientists to build out the machine learning algorithms
  • Software engineers to develop backend functions and data pipelines to run the tool
  • Engineers and designers to build out the user interface
  • Community contributors to enrich the documentation, discussions and outreach

“We are excited to bring together the most brilliant technical and medical minds to create technology that will help clinicians catch lung cancer early enough to manage its impact on patients and save lives,” Addario said. “We designed The Lung Cancer Early Detection Challenge based on conversations with practicing clinicians, lung cancer survivors, researchers and engineers. I am optimistic that this challenge will help turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by the year 2023.”

To learn more about the challenge, watch the video here.

National Advisory Board of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Announces Leadership Changes and New Member

Posted: Aug 2, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on National Advisory Board of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Announces Leadership Changes and New Member

NABLOGO_FINAL_3.13.17-01

Waco, Texas (August 1, 2017) – The National Collegiate Equestrian’s Association’s (NCEA) National Advisory Board (NAB) announces the new leadership structure approved this summer. Tom O’Mara and John Hull will assume the position as co-chairs of the NAB for the next two years. Ongoing support from past co-chair Kelly Chapman will provide for an effective transition as she will remain as a member of the NAB. David May’s term on the NAB expires after serving as one of the primary architects of the NAB. Chapman and May were integral in the establishment of the NAB and provided the structure and network to support the growth of NCAA Equestrian toward championship status. “The NCEA truly appreciates the early efforts of David May and Kelly Chapman in building the NAB into a recognized entity. We are excited about the leadership transition and look forward to working closely with John Hull and Tom O’Mara,” said Dr. Leah Fiorentino, Executive Director of the NCEA.

In addition to the new leadership team, the NAB also welcomes a new member, Rebekah Farber of Los Angeles, California. Ms. Farber’s career began as a leader in the development of corporate training programs but she has spent the last 25 years as a leader of non-profit boards of trustees specializing in governance and advancement both in her local community as well as nationally. She has been active in the equestrian community as both an owner, parent, and competitor. Her daughter, Emma Farber, rides on the hunt seat team at the University of South Carolina. “I look forward to the opportunity to support and promote young women through collegiate athletics to become both professional and amateur equestrians with strong academic foundations” said Ms. Farber of her upcoming position on the NAB.  She replaces Chuck Fry as the University of South Carolina liaison. Mr. Fry was a founding member of the NAB and provided a strong connection to the West Coast equestrian community.

“The NCEA and NAB are unwavering in our commitment to the nation’s leading collegiate equestrian athletes. By increasing investment in a ripple effect, we can improve the sport, give voice to the athletes and coaches, and cultivate women leaders for the future. I’ve enjoyed my time and investment with the NCEA and see a very bright future. Our new members have a recognizable passion for the sport and will continue the positive movement started two years ago,” said John Hull, NAB co-chair.

“The NAB continues to be the external strength of collegiate equestrian efforts. Our current financial stability can be connected directly to their guidance on several important items. The idea to bridge the corporate leaders with the collegiate sport leadership is an innovative approach to stabilizing non-revenue generating sports on the college campus,” said Dr. Leah Fiorentino.

The NCEA will continue to provide guidance to the oversight of the sport of collegiate riding, while the NAB will focus on raising awareness and building cohesive industry support on the relevance and value of women’s equestrian. The NAB is committed to elevate and advance equestrian to the most sustainable and strongest of all NCAA women’s sports. The NAB has recommitted to its strategic plan focused on the development of financial stability in the form of effective marketing of Equestrian to provide revenue streams for three distinct efforts, 1) the NCEA national championship event, 2) the development of grants for current and new collegiate equestrian teams, and 3) the expenses associated with operating the NCEA. “I look forward to working with John Hull as co-chair and all the other members of the NAB towards the continued successful growth of Equestrian as an NCAA sport,” said Tom O’Mara, NAB co-chair.

NCEA NAB members include:

  • John Hull (Co-chair), Owner and Vice President, Emergency Radio Service, Inc.
  • Tom O’Mara, Corporate Leadership, Finance
  • Kelly Boles Chapman, Equine Industry, AQHA/APHA
  • Pat Boyle, Owner, Show Place Productions
  • Elizabeth Cordia, Corporate Leadership
  • Daniel Dienst, Founder, D2QUARED
  • Rebekah Farber, Owner, Farber Farm, LLC
  • Jim Heird, AQHA Leadership
  • Todd Neiberger, CFO, Magpul Industries
  • Sue Padilla, Owner, MSPadilla Consulting, LLC
  • Sara Stumberg, Owner, Sara Walker Private Events
  • Karen Willis, Corporate Leadership, Equestrian
  • Larry Sanchez, VP Finance, NCEA
  • Leah Fiorentino, Executive Director, NCEA

NCEA Logo

About the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA)

The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), a non-profit corporation, was created as a governing body to advance the sport of Equestrian for women at the collegiate level. In 1998, Equestrian was identified and adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Committee of Women’s Athletics (CWA) as an emerging sport for women at the Division I and II levels. The NCEA, in concert with the mission and vision of the NCAA, is committed to providing collegiate opportunities for female equestrian student-athletes to compete at the highest level, while embracing equity, diversity and promoting academic and competitive excellence. 


 

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Honors One of the World’s Leading Lung Cancer Oncologists with the 2017 Addario Lectureship Award

Posted: Aug 1, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Honors One of the World’s Leading Lung Cancer Oncologists with the 2017 Addario Lectureship Award

Frances A. Shepherd, MD, FRCPC honored at the 18th International Lung Cancer Congress

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (July 27, 2017)– The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) will honor Frances A. Shepherd, M.D., FRCPC, with the  2017 Addario Lectureship Award for her leadership in improving treatment options and helping people with advanced lung cancer live longer. Dr. Shepherd received her M.D. from the University of Toronto and is currently a senior staff physician at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and professor of medicine at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Shepherd will be the first woman to receive the award at the 18th International Lung FRANCES-SHEPHERD Times SquareCancer Congress held July 27-29 in Huntington Beach, California.

“Dr. Shepherd is instrumental in the lives of her patients, to the physicians across the world she has mentored and the field of lung cancer research and treatment,” said Bonnie J. Addario, 13-year lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. “Through her leadership, she has brought together a brilliant team of researchers committed to treating lung cancer. Her team is one of the world leaders in bench to bedside research pertaining to lung cancer.”

Dr. Shepherd is an Officer of the Order of Canada. She has mentored more than 30 post-doctoral research fellows from around the world, many of whom now hold senior academic positions in their home countries. Her major career accomplishments include:

  • Leading a clinical trial that resulted in chemotherapy following lung cancer surgery becoming the new standard of care around the world.
  • Heading a global trial that showed for the first time that a targeted therapy could prolong life for lung cancer patients who had no further options for treatment.
  • Creating NCIC trial-associated lung cancer tumor banks that contain both cancer and normal lung samples. These precious samples play a critical role in understanding the molecular abnormalities of lung cancer and help to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from specific therapies.

Dr. Shepherd is on the editorial board of several journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology. She has been lead or senior investigator in more than 100 clinical trials and authored more than 450 peer-reviewed publications. In 2005, she was the lead author of three articles published over a three-week period in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Shepherd is one of the world’s leading lung cancer clinicians and researchers, known for her leadership in developing innovative therapies for lung cancer,” said Addario. Dr. Shepherd has also established high quality lung tumor banks to support crucial trials necessary to conquer the world’s deadliest cancer. “

Past Addario Lectureship Award recipients include:

  • 2016-Giorgio Vittorio Scagliotti, M.D., Professor of Oncology, University of Torino, Head of the Department of Oncology and Chief of the Division of Medical Oncology, San Luigi Hospital, Torino, Italy
  • 2015-Fred R. Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • 2014-Roy S. Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., Ensign Professor of Medicine and Chief of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center
  • 2013-Tony Mok, M.D., Professor in the Department of Clinical Oncology, Chinese University of Hong Kong in Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong
  • 2012-D. Ross Camidge, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Thoracic Oncology Clinical Program and Associate Director for Clinical Research, Colorado University Cancer Center
  • 2011-William Pao , M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research, Director, Personalized Cancer Medicine, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
  • 2010-David R. Gandara , M.D., Associate Director, Clinical Research, UC Davis Cancer Center
  • 2009-Harvey Pass , M.D., B.A., Director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Chief of Thoracic Surgery, New York University Medical Center
  • 2008-Paul A. Bunn, Jr. M.D., Principal Investigator and Director, University of Colorado Cancer Center

The ALCF has supported the Lung Cancer Congress for the past ten years and serves as a co-sponsor, along with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. The annual three-day event provides physicians with practical information about the clinical implications of lung cancer screening, the latest clinical data impacting the treatment of lung cancer and novel agents and strategies that are changing the future of lung cancer therapy.

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About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest international philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating lung cancer through research, early detection, education and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006, as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs. For more information about the ALCF please visit www.lungcancerfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

California Association of Health Underwriters Responds to False Claims Made by Universal Single Payer Health Care Proponents

Posted: May 31, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on California Association of Health Underwriters Responds to False Claims Made by Universal Single Payer Health Care Proponents

Rick Coburn, president of the California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) issued the following statement today regarding California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU)’s new research study on SB 562 (Lara/Atkins):

“The California State Senate estimates a universal single payer government-run health care system as outlined in SB 562 will cost $400 billion annually and will dismantle a system that provides coverage for 94 percent of Californians leading to rationing and barriers to access. Yet the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) continues to argue that The Healthy California legislation benefits all Californians. A universal single payer government-run health care system is not the desired approach nor supported by the vast majority of California residents. An April poll commissioned by CAHU found a supermajority of California voters (66 percent) opposes establishing a universal health care system when they know the actual cost.

The California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) is concerned about the following:

  • Senate Bill 562 proponents assume federal funding will cover 70 percent of the annual $400 billion cost estimate. California has no authority over federal programs and cannot assume the federal government will grant the necessary waivers. (Source: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/State-Innovation-Waivers/Section_1332_State_Innovation_Waivers-.html)
  • There is great disparity in tax burdens proposed by SB 562 proponents. California businesses will pay seven and a half times more ($106 billion) than those paying sales taxes ($14 billion) according to the CNA-purchased economic analysis. This will lead to far more Californians being unemployed, less tax revenue into state coffers, and more pressure on an already broken unemployment trust fund, that is also 100 percent supported by employer taxes. This proposal is one more cost pressure on California businesses and their ability to hire or expand.
  • By abolishing health care options delivered by private insurance companies, the single payer universal health care law would make nearly 18 percent of California’s workforce unemployed. The law would abolish all private health insurance in California, including Medicare, replacing it with a government-run monopoly on all health care services.
  • Nowhere in the bill’s language does it refer to lowering the cost of health care delivery. The existing public/private system already provides access to coverage and health care services for all. (Source: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). It is not possible for a health system to go from one where there is a doctor copay and a deductible plan to a plan with neither of them and with more covered benefits and not cost more.
  • SB 562’s Healthy California Director and Board is an unelected bureaucracy with limited accountability to the Legislature or public. There is no mechanism in place to remove an appointee. The appointees are political and selected by the Governor, the Senate leader and the Assembly Speaker. (See 100610 (a) & 100612 (a)). The nurses want a seat at the table and to be part of this “single point of political power.” (https://medium.com/@DavidGCrane/the-real-reason-behind-the-ca-single-payer-proposal-60adb14eb555)
  • Government-run health care systems struggle to provide timely care and the latest technology because health care funds must compete with other claims on government funds, such as education, welfare, water and transportation infrastructure. Citizens in countries with single-payer models often wait months to see a doctor or specialist or to receive much-needed medical treatment. These other country’s plans also permit private insurance and do not cover many benefits such as prescriptions, vision, dental, long-term care. (Source: The Senate Appropriations analysis 5/22/2017 notes at least 3 issues that will have to go to voters to overturn (Gann limit and Prop 98 and Prop 30 of 2012))

Single payer comes with an initial price tag of at least $400 billion per year, passed onto California businesses and citizens. This is not only a profound job killer – it places an immense new tax burden on hardworking individuals and families. With Covered California, the state can create a system that expands coverage to all Californians in a market-based approach. That is what California citizens want from their elected officials, not a government-run, government-dispensed health care system. We look forward to working with lawmakers on solutions that provide high quality, comprehensive and affordable health care for all Californians.”

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About California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU)

CAHU works closely with legislators and government agencies at both the state and federal level by educating our government leaders about the healthcare delivery system and the vital role of a professional agent as a consumer resource and advocate. We have been instrumental in protecting California consumers through a very dynamic grassroots network that includes organized events and lobbying, as well as in-district activities with our elected legislators. We also work diligently with Covered California to ensure the best possible outcomes for Californians, and their leadership frequently cites our input and impact. For more information go to www.cahu.org.

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Awards $180,000 Clinical Trial Innovation Prize

Posted: May 18, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Awards $180,000 Clinical Trial Innovation Prize

ALCF logoTwo winners will be awarded a total of $180,000 for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) Clinical Trial Innovation Prize, an international crowdsourcing challenge seeking innovative ways to increase cancer patient enrollment in clinical trials.

“Using crowdsourcing, we tapped into a vast pool of people from varying backgrounds and expertise from all over the world,” said Bonnie J. Addario, a 13-year lung cancer survivor and ALCF founder. “The goal of the challenge is to produce breakthroughs that will double the patient accrual rate of clinical trials evaluating interventions in the diagnosis and treatment of all cancers. One of our winners is from New York, the other team is from Australia.”

The first and second prize winners were selected by a panel of judges with diverse sectors of the healthcare industry.

First Place: The panel awarded $100,000 to Samir Housri and Nadine Housri who developed theMednet, a social network for physicians, to share information about clinical trials to physicians in an engaging way.

“With 78 percent of patients saying their doctors are the most trusted source for information on clinical trials, but only 14 percent of doctors ever discussing trials with patients, improving physician awareness about trials on the Mednet.org could have the most impact on driving enrollment,” Housri said. “theMednet.org is a question and answer platform for doctors and a natural place to promote trials.”

Second Place: The other winners are Judith Trotman and Roslyn Ristuccia of Australia who developed the app ClinTrial Refer, which increases the cross-referral of patients between hospitals by enhancing doctors’ knowledge of current trials. The use of this app has increased trial recruitment by more than 50 percent. ClinTrial Refer enhances  communication among oncologists, trial units and potential patients.

“The ClinTrial Refer app allows networks of trial units to collaborate and contribute current listings about recruiting trials. The app is free to download and becomes the clinician’s best resource,” Trotman said. “The main barrier to improving recruitment is doctors knowing where and how to refer patients. Now they can look up current information within seconds, during a consultation visit. Patients can gather the knowledge they need for decisions on all available treatment options at www.clintrial.org.au.”

An estimated one in two men and one in three women in the United States will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, however only four percent of adult cancer patients enroll in clinical trials. Unfortunately, researchers will never complete more than 20 percent of these trials due to not enough patients enrolling into clinical trials, as many are unaware of the benefits a clinical trial may provide, or that a clinical trial might even be a treatment option.

“The unique aspect of this crowdsourcing challenge is that the ALCF mentored the applicants for six months while they were collecting data on whether their ideas did in fact change clinical trial patient accrual,” said Addario. “ALCF also provided applicants access to the resources they needed to test and implement their ideas.”

The first phase of the Clinical Trial Innovation Prize, or the Ideation phase, focused on innovators sharing creative and novel ideas on how to double the accrual rate of cancer clinical trials. More than 100 innovators and 14 teams participated in the challenge from all over the world, with submissions coming in from Israel, Nigeria, Germany, India, the United States and 13 other countries. The first and second prize winners were selected by a panel of judges with varying backgrounds in the healthcare industry.

Judges awarded these projects:

First Prize: Match Point: Matching Patients and Trials Via EHR,” submitted by Helynx, a start-up out of Caltech, UCLA and Harvard, and Dr. Jae Kim, a cardiothoracic surgeon at City of Hope. The trio created a unique system for automatically matching patients to the clinical trials for which they qualify using machine learning techniques to read patients’ Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to determine eligibility. The winning entry received $20,000.

Second Prize: Fast, Fun & Friendly: Build Trust Before Research,” submitted by Drs. Matt Gerber and Deanna Teoh of the Gynecologic Oncology Department at the University of Minneapolis, created an individualized Welcome App that details the arc of care a patient will receive as well a clear and succinct message about clinical research and its benefits. Gerber and Teoh’s idea won their team $5,000.

For more information about the Innovation Prize, please visit ALCF’s website.

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About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs. For more information about the ALCF please visit www.lungcancerfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

ABOUT HEROX
Founded in 2013, HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration. The HeroX crowdsourcing platform brings together global communities of problem solvers to deliver breakthrough solutions to social, economic, and strategic challenges.

Biocept, Addario Partner to Test Liquid Biopsy Tech in Lung Cancer

Posted: May 17, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Biocept, Addario Partner to Test Liquid Biopsy Tech in Lung Cancer

Date: 5/10/17ALCMI(4)justlogoOUT
Outlet: GenomeWeb
Author: Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocept said today that it has partnered with the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) to evaluate the use of the company’s Target Selector liquid biopsy platform in a clinical study of lung cancer patients.

The Target Selector technology is designed to analyze both circulating tumor cell (CTC) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) biomarkers from a blood sample. Under the terms of the deal, ALCMI and collaborating institutions will send samples from up to 400 lung cancer patients to Biocept, which will use the platform to detect and assess key biomarkers with the goal of demonstrating the concordance of liquid biopsy to solid tissue biopsies at de novo presentation.

This concordance will validate the use of a liquid biopsy sample when biopsy tissue is depleted or difficult to obtain for biomarker stratification, Biocept said. The trial also aims to validate the utility of monitoring key biomarkers in lung cancer patients with a liquid biopsy, enumerating CTC counts, and quantifying ctDNA mutations in order to illustrate drug response, predict treatment failure prior to progression observed with radiographic imaging, and identify resistance mutations.

The company said that the trial will distinguish between advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with squamous cell and non-squamous cell carcinoma, and will evaluate the clinical utility of liquid biopsy in additional patients with early-stage NSCLC and small cell lung cancer.

Patients will have four to six blood samples drawn over a 12-month period, yielding between 1,600 and 2,400 liquid biopsy data points. Data from the study are expected to be centralized in a large-scale database that will include uniform and complete patient demographic, pathology, and clinical information.

“We have targeted several highly important objectives for this trial that could have a profound impact on the treatment of patients with lung cancer,” Florida International University’s Luis Raez, a principal investigator for the study, said in a statement. “A better understanding of the role of serial blood-based molecular markers in making treatment decisions for lung cancer patients is critical, and may also lead to the development of novel targeted therapies.”

The deal with ALCMI is the latest in a series of collaborations Biocept has formed for the Target Selector platform, ncluding partnerships with Columbia University Medical Center, the University of Minnesota, and Catalyst Pharmaceuticals.

Read more from GenomeWeb here

Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Receives Highest Rating from Charity Navigator

Posted: May 12, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Receives Highest Rating from Charity Navigator

ALCF logoFor the third year in a row, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation’s (ALCF) strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned the organization the highest rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

“Our mission to make the world’s deadliest cancer a chronically-managed disease by the year 2023 requires constant fundraising and support for patient education programs, clinical research and physician education and training. It is crucial that our donors have confidence that we are using those funds appropriately,” said Bonnie J. Addario, a 13-year lung cancer survivor and ALCF founder. “Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters our good governance and financial accountability.”

Charity Navigator only awards the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. Charity Navigator applies data-driven analysis to the charitable sector. Last year, Charity Navigator influenced an estimated $10 billion in charitable gifts.

“The ALCF’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Charity Navigator President and CEO Michael Thatcher,. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds ALCF to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support the ALCF.”

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer, taking the lives of more people than the next three most frequent cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate). An estimated 160,000 Americans will die this year from lung cancer. Eighty percent of those recently diagnosed with lung cancer never smoked, or quit decades ago. The inaccurate stigma that lung cancer is a “smokers” disease has led to disproportionately low funding for research and trials, as compared to other cancers.

Organization ratings and other information about charitable giving are available free of charge at www.charitynavigator.org. More-detailed information about ALCF’s rating is available to Charity Navigator site visitors who become registered users, another free service.

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About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, education, early detection, genetic testing, drug discovery and patient-focused outcomes. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, patients, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $30 million for lung cancer research. To learn more, please visit www.lungcancerfoundation.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Charity Navigator
Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org, is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of more than 8,000 charities. Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a 501 (c) (3) public charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America’s charitable givers. Charity Navigator, can be reached directly by telephone at (201) 818-1288, or by mail at 139 Harristown Road, Suite 101, Glen Rock, N.J., 07452.

CAHU Survey Finds Most Californians Oppose Single Payer

Posted: May 11, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on CAHU Survey Finds Most Californians Oppose Single Payer

Date: 5/10/17
Outlet: California Broker
Author: Victoria Alexander

A telephone survey commissioned by the California Association of Health Underwriters found that three out of four Californians were opposed to single payer health care once they were informed about the associated costs. The survey was conducted by J. Wallin Opinion Research on April 22 through April 26, 2017.

The survey found:

  • Eighty-one percent of Californians are satisfied with the timeliness, cost, quality, availability and accessibility of their current health care coverage with 42 percent of respondents saying they are “very satisfied.”
  • A supermajority (66 percent) opposes legislation establishing universal single payer universal health care with 44 percent strongly opposing the legislative proposal.

When learning about the facts about universal single payer health care, different age groups, demographics and ethnic backgrounds all share opposition to a government run system. “The single payer universal health care law would force Californians to hand over at least $179 billion in new state taxes to pay for a health care system run by the State of California. That translates to costing each California taxpayer $9,100 per year,” said CAHU President Richard Coburn. “This new policy would eliminate employer paid health coverage and shifts health costs to employees.”

Read more from California Broker here