Representatives from the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) joined other cancer stakeholders and policymakers on Capitol Hill today for a briefing on personalized medicine and the future of cancer care delivery and payment.
The briefing was moderated by COA Executive Director Ted Okon, and featured COA Executive Committee Member Kashyap Patel, MD, Managing Partner at Carolina Blood and Cancer Care in South Carolina.
In cancer care, personalized medicine is essentially the ability to tailor treatments to each patient, based on the knowledge of the specific genetic and molecular makeup of their tumor. The goal of personalized medicine is to use the right drug at the right dose, with minimal or no toxicity, for the right patient at the right time.
“With personalized medicine oncologists have a whole new set of tools and strategies to fighting cancer. Today, I can provide patients with better, more specific treatments, tailored to their specific cancer, and, hopefully, with less side effects,” said Dr. Patel. “But as personalized medicine continues to grow and become the norm, it is critical that policy and payment keep up with and evolve to support it. If it does not, we will find the latest and greatest resources to fighting cancer out of reach of our patients.”
The briefing included discussions on recent advances, challenges, and future perspectives of personalized medicine in cancer. A special focus was on challenges surrounding public policy, payment, and delivery of personalized medicine options to cancer patients.
COA is committed to advancing personalized medicine in cancer care and enhancing the quality of care for patients while also making it more cost-effective and affordable. As the front-line providers for the majority of Americans with cancer, community oncologists understand the numerous challenges of fulfilling CMS regulations, policies, and procedures relating to cancer care. Community oncology practices are working tirelessly to make meaningful, effective oncology payment reform a reality, including the bipartisan Cancer Care Payment Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 1834) and Cancer Care Payment Reform Act of 2017 (S. 463).
Also speaking at the Hill briefing were David Berman, MD, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, R&D and Oncology and iMED Head, AstraZeneca; John Nissim, Lung Cancer Patient, Survivor, and Lung Cancer Alliance Advocate; and Emily Murry, Staff Director for the U.S. House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee under the Honorable Kevin Brady (R-TX).