News in brief: Brentuximab PBS-listed for PTCL; Parental PTSD after children’s ALL; Cancer clinical trial participation feedback sought

Thursday, 2 Sep 2021

Brentuximab now PBS-listed for PTCL

Australians living with previously untreated CD30 positive peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) will benefit from an extension of the PBS listing of brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) from September 1.

The listing follows advice from the PBAC meeting in March 2021. Brentixumab was already listed for treatment of other conditions including adults with CD30 positive cutaneous T-cell lymphomas after at least one prior systemic therapy.

“The PBAC accepted that BV+CHP was clinically superior in terms of progression free survival compared to cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone and that the immature overall survival data also suggested a clinical benefit,” the PBAC said.

The PBAC also accepted that BV+CHP was non-inferior in terms of safety.

“The PBAC considered the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was high but acceptable at the proposed price in the context of this rare disease with a high clinical need and the certainty of the estimated ICER.”

Federal health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement that about 65 Australians per year will benefit from the listing. Without PBS subsidy, they would likely pay more than $85,000 per course of treatment with the monoclonal antibody.

Parental PTSD after children’s ALL

Parents of childhood cancer survivors report experiencing stress, depression and family problems in the months post treatment but most said they would not speak to a health professional about the symptoms, a new Australian study reveals.

Researchers from The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute surveyed 77 parents of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) survivors alongside 52 comparison parents of typically developing children about psychological and family functioning.

Overall mean psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, and family functioning were within normal limits for both groups but parents of CCS had higher scores for stress, depression, and family problems.

And while parents of CCS showed  low rates of PTSS. 51% percent scored above the distress thermometer (DT-P) clinical cutoff (>4), with items elevated across all six DT-P domains.

Yet most parents did not indicate a wish to speak to a health professional about their symptoms, reported investigators who suggest that specialist psychosocial intervention may be indicated for a subset of parents at the end of treatment, including e-Health approaches.

Read more.

Cancer clinical trial participation feedback sought

Medical oncologist Professor Ian Olver is leading a new investigation to identify barriers to cancer patients participating in clinical trials.

The University of South Australia-based study is seeking to explore the drivers and deterrents that determine why as few as 5% of patients with cancer are enrolled in clinical trials.

Feedback is being sought from patients and carers for the  Cancer Trial Consumer Experience Survey.

The study investigators say that understanding the experiences of people who participate in clinical trials is essential to inform best practice.

“Working with people who have participated in cancer trials we know that an awareness of the trials themselves is a massive issue. If clinicians and patients aren’t aware of the range of clinical trials on offer, it’s impossible for them to take part,” Professor Olver said.

“By talking with clinical trial participants, we’re hoping to learn more about how they were informed and supported, both before, during and after their treatment. And, by capturing people’s experiences of clinical trials, we can identify what could be done better to prepare or support individuals with cancer to participate in clinical trials,” he added.

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