Trending News Today: Breast Cancer Drug Reduces Risk of Death, Progression in Trial

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Novartis’ experimental breast cancer drug BYL719 (alpelisib) showed clinical benefit in patients with hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 breast cancer with mutations of the PIK3CA gene, Reuters reported. According to the article, BYL719 combined with fulvestrant boosted median progression-free survival to 11 months, up from 5.7 months for patients who received only hormone therapy. The treatment also decreased the risk of death or progression by an estimated 35%, the article reported.

New clinical trial data show that Tecentriq in combination with chemotherapy increased survival among patients with lung cancer by nearly 5 months, Reuters reported. According to the article, Tecentriq added to chemotherapy carboplatin/nabpaclitaxel in first-line non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer boosted median overall survival to 18.6 months compared with 13.9 months for those administered just chemotherapy. Survival without disease worsening increased to 7 months for patients who received the Tecentriq combination versus 5.5 months for the chemotherapy group, the article reported.

A new analysis found that a recent health insurer policy used by 1 major insurer could result in denial of payment for nearly 16% of emergency department (ED) visits if used by more insurers and expanded nationally, Reuters reported. According to the article, Anthem introduced its policy of denying coverage for ED visits it deems unnecessary in 3 states in 2017, expanding to 3 more states in 2018. For the analysis, researchers applied Anthem’s criteria to a national database of patients who sought emergency care from 2011 through 2015, the article reported.