The Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) system instituted by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has lead to the implementation of a new financial analysis paradigm based on relative value units (RVUs). RVU-based financial tools have great potential to allow in-depth analysis of all components of the cancer care delivery system. Because all medical oncology practices must become conversant in RVU terminology and methodology, RVU-based financial tools will allow standardization and benchmarking for intra- and interpractice comparisons. Understanding this approach is essential for sound business management. The emotional and financial pressures facing the medical oncologist in private practice are enormous, with no real relief in sight. The complexity of managing the business of private practice oncology rivals that of managing the complexity of cancer care. With anticipated reductions in total net revenue per clinical treatment protocol per course of care, funds available for providers and their practices will be severely reduced. Only those practices with superlative RVU-based cost and revenue accounting systems will be able to prospectively and efficiently manage their businesses. Clearly, management of the Oncology Practice Econometric Model (OPEM) expense RVU or similar RVU-based data will be required for survival. The purpose of this article is to explore an RVU-based model to analyze the professional, infusion, and therapeutic components of contemporary cancer care.
David M. Dunning and Thomas A. Paivanas
David M. Thomas and Andrew J. Wagner
Connective tissue tumors comprise a rich array of subtypes, many of which possess strong pathognomonic phenotypes and genotypes of therapeutic significance. This article describes recent applications of targeted and nontargeted therapeutic agents in connective tissue tumors that illustrate important themes in drug development. Targeted therapy has exploited the paradigms of oncogene and lineage addiction. In other cases, potential targets are more difficult to classify, such as the role of the insulin-like growth factor 1 pathway in Ewing's sarcoma. Understanding why these pathways seem critical in some cancers, and in some individuals but not others, is important in identifying novel therapeutic opportunities in an age of personalized medicine.
Michael H. Levy, Michael D. Adolph, Anthony Back, Susan Block, Shirley N. Codada, Shalini Dalal, Teresa L. Deshields, Elisabeth Dexter, Sydney M. Dy, Sara J. Knight, Sumathi Misra, Christine S. Ritchie, Todd M. Sauer, Thomas Smith, David Spiegel, Linda Sutton, Robert M. Taylor, Jennifer Temel, Jay Thomas, Roma Tickoo, Susan G. Urba, Jamie H. Von Roenn, Joseph L. Weems, Sharon M. Weinstein, Deborah A. Freedman-Cass and Mary Anne Bergman
These guidelines were developed and updated by an interdisciplinary group of experts based on clinical experience and available scientific evidence. The goal of these guidelines is to help patients with cancer experience the best quality of life possible throughout the illness trajectory by providing guidance for the primary oncology team for symptom screening, assessment, palliative care interventions, reassessment, and afterdeath care. Palliative care should be initiated by the primary oncology team and augmented by collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of palliative care experts.
Carrie Zornosa, Jonathan L. Vandergrift, Gregory P. Kalemkerian, David S. Ettinger, Michael S. Rabin, Mary Reid, Gregory A. Otterson, Marianna Koczywas, Thomas A. D'Amico, Joyce C. Niland, Rizvan Mamet and Katherine M. Pisters
The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) allow many systemic therapy options for patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This analysis uses the NCCN NSCLC Outcomes Database to report on first-line therapy practice patterns and concordance with NCCN Guidelines. The analysis was limited to patients diagnosed with metastatic NSCLC between September 2006 and November 2009 at 1 of 8 participating NCCN Member Institutions. Patient characteristics, regimens used, and guidelines concordance were analyzed. Institutional variation and changes in practice over time were also measured. A total of 1717 patients were included in the analysis. Of these, 1375 (80%) were treated with systemic therapy, most often in the form of a carboplatin-based doublet (51%) or carboplatin-based doublet with targeted therapy (17%). Overall, 76% of patients received care that was concordant with NCCN Guidelines. Among patients with good performance status (n = 167), the most common reasons for not receiving first-line therapy were that therapy was not recommended (39%) or death occurred before treatment (33%). The most common reason for receiving nonconcordant drug therapy was the administration of pemetrexed or erlotinib before its incorporation into the NCCN Guidelines for first-line therapy (53%). Most patients in this cohort received care that was concordant with NCCN Guidelines. The NSCLC Outcomes Database is a valuable resource for evaluating practice patterns and concordance with NCCN Guidelines among patients with NSCLC.
Ann M. Berger, Amy Pickar Abernethy, Ashley Atkinson, Andrea M. Barsevick, William S. Breitbart, David Cella, Bernadine Cimprich, Charles Cleeland, Mario A. Eisenberger, Carmen P. Escalante, Paul B. Jacobsen, Phyllis Kaldor, Jennifer A. Ligibel, Barbara A. Murphy, Tracey O'Connor, William F. Pirl, Eve Rodler, Hope S. Rugo, Jay Thomas and Lynne I. Wagner
Michael Levy, Thomas Smith, Amy Alvarez-Perez, Anthony Back, Justin N. Baker, Anna C. Beck, Susan Block, Shalini Dalal, Maria Dans, Thomas R. Fitch, Jennifer Kapo, Jean S. Kutner, Elizabeth Kvale, Sumathi Misra, William Mitchell, Diane G. Portman, Todd M. Sauer, David Spiegel, Linda Sutton, Eytan Szmuilowicz, Robert M. Taylor, Jennifer Temel, Roma Tickoo, Susan G. Urba, Elizabeth Weinstein, Finly Zachariah, Mary Anne Bergman and Jillian L. Scavone
The NCCN Guidelines for Palliative Care provide interdisciplinary recommendations on palliative care for patients with cancer. The NCCN Guidelines are intended to provide guidance to the primary oncology team on the integration of palliative care into oncology. The NCCN Palliative Care Panel's recommendations seek to ensure that each patient experiences the best quality of life possible throughout the illness trajectory. Accordingly, the NCCN Guidelines outline best practices for screening, assessment, palliative care interventions, reassessment, and after-death care.
Robert J. Motzer, Neeraj Agarwal, Clair Beard, Sam Bhayani, Graeme B. Bolger, Michael A. Carducci, Sam S. Chang, Toni K. Choueiri, Steven L. Hancock, Gary R. Hudes, Eric Jonasch, David Josephson, Timothy M. Kuzel, Ellis G. Levine, Daniel W. Lin, Kim A. Margolin, M. Dror Michaelson, Thomas Olencki, Roberto Pili, Thomas W. Ratliff, Bruce G. Redman, Cary N. Robertson, Charles J. Ryan, Joel Sheinfeld, Philippe E. Spiess, Jue Wang and Richard B. Wilder
David G. Pfister, Sharon Spencer, David M. Brizel, Barbara Burtness, Paul M. Busse, Jimmy J. Caudell, Anthony J. Cmelak, A. Dimitrios Colevas, Frank Dunphy, David W. Eisele, Jill Gilbert, Maura L. Gillison, Robert I. Haddad, Bruce H. Haughey, Wesley L. Hicks Jr, Ying J. Hitchcock, Antonio Jimeno, Merrill S. Kies, William M. Lydiatt, Ellie Maghami, Renato Martins, Thomas McCaffrey, Loren K. Mell, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, John A. Ridge, Cristina P. Rodriguez, Sandeep Samant, David E. Schuller, Jatin P. Shah, Randal S. Weber, Gregory T. Wolf, Frank Worden, Sue S. Yom, Nicole R. McMillian and Miranda Hughes
This selection from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Head and Neck Cancers focuses on glottic laryngeal cancer, which is the most common type of laryngeal cancer and has an excellent cure rate. The lymphatic drainage of the glottis is sparse, and early stage primaries rarely spread to regional nodes. Because hoarseness is an early symptom, most glottic laryngeal cancer is early stage at diagnosis. Updates to these guidelines for 2014 include revisions to “Principles of Radiation Therapy” for each site and “Principles of Surgery,” and the addition of a new section on “Principles of Dental Evaluation and Management.”
David S. Ettinger, Douglas E. Wood, Wallace Akerley, Lyudmila A. Bazhenova, Hossein Borghaei, David Ross Camidge, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D’Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Thomas J. Dilling, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis Jr, Leora Horn, Thierry M. Jahan, Ritsuko Komaki, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Rudy P. Lackner, Michael Lanuti, Rogerio Lilenbaum, Jules Lin, Billy W. Loo Jr, Renato Martins, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Gregory J. Riely, Eric Rohren, Steven Schild, Theresa A. Shapiro, Scott J. Swanson, Kurt Tauer, Stephen C. Yang, Kristina Gregory and Miranda Hughes
This selection from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) focuses on the principles of radiation therapy (RT), which include the following: (1) general principles for early-stage, locally advanced, and advanced/metastatic NSCLC; (2) target volumes, prescription doses, and normal tissue dose constraints for early-stage, locally advanced, and advanced/palliative RT; and (3) RT simulation, planning, and delivery. Treatment recommendations should be made by a multidisciplinary team, including board-certified radiation oncologists who perform lung cancer RT as a prominent part of their practice.