Hematology & Oncology Highlights: Jury Awards $2 Billion for Roundup Cancer Case, FDA Approves Liver Cancer Drug, and more

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Hematology & Oncology section. This week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a genome-driven treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), Bayer received another verdict on claims that the product Roundup causes cancer, and a study found that the global need for chemotherapy will double by 2040.

Bayer Loses another Roundup Trial

A California couple with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who say their cancer was caused by long-term exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer received a $2.055 billion jury verdict. This is the third verdict that has ruled that Bayer/Monsanto must compensate plaintiffs. There are also 13,400 U.S. lawsuits still pending. The ruling came despite a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency stating that glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup, was not a carcinogen and posed no public health risk when used as directed.

Cyramza approved for HCC Patients

The FDA approved ramucirumab (Cyramza®) monotherapy for the treatment of HCC in patients who have an alpha fetoprotein of ≥400 ng/mL and have been previously treated with sorafenib. This is the first genome-driven treatment for HCC. The phase III REACH-2 study found that ramucirumab improved overall survival compared with placebo.

Chemo Patients to increase 53% by 2040

A study published in The Lancet Oncology found that between 2018 and 2040, the number of patients requiring chemotherapy annually will increase from 9.8 million to 15.0 million, a relative increase of 53%. In 2018, 57% of patients with cancer worldwide required first-line chemotherapy, and by 2040, the number of new cases of cancer is projected to be 26 million, an estimated 15 million of which will require chemotherapy.

Time of Day impacts patient care

Patients with primary care physician appointments scheduled later in the day are less likely to receive ordered screenings for breast cancer and colorectal cancer, according to a study published in JAMA. Among patients eligible for breast cancer screening, test order rates were highest at 8 a.m. at 63.7% and diminished throughout the morning to 48.7% by 11 a.m. before again increasing to 56.2% at 12 p.m., and then subsiding to 47.8% at 5 p.m.