1) Payment Assistance for Under Insured Patients. The Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation offers financial assistance to prostate cancer patients who lack full insurance coverage, allowing access to treatments previously out of reach. In 2012, PAN started an initiative to raise funds to provide castrate-resistant patients access to new and necessary treatments. To date, 2,200 men have enrolled and $22 million in financial assistance has been allocated. Current co-pay programs include treatments involving androgen receptor inhibitors, immunotherapy, radioisotope and metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Travel assistance for treatments are also available. Application information and details can be found in the November 2013 PCRI Insights.
2) Three new, commercially-available genetic tests for prostate cancer. Prolaris from Myriad Genetics and Oncotype Dx from Genomic Health can help obtain a more accurate measure of tumor aggressiveness. Both tests examine multiple genes in prostate cells that are removed at the time of biopsy. Polaris predicts the risk of ten-year mortality from prostate cancer while Oncotype Dx seeks to more precisely define the risk category of the individual prostate cancer. A third, Confirm MDx from MDxHealth can provide additional assurance that a negative biopsy is truly negative and that the needle did not simply miss the cancer. It is as accurate as a second biopsy without the unwanted complications.
3) Several specific open Phase 2 clinical trials for men with castrate-resistant, metastatic prostate cancer are listed in the November 18th, 2013 PCRI Insights. These trials involve new therapeutic agents such as Provenge, Xofigo and Cabozantinib (XL184). Enrollment information, criteria and locations are found in the Nov. 18th issue.
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