Immunotherapy Combos: Will Cost Put Them out of Reach?

Source: Medscape, November 2018

WASHINGTON — New classes of cancer medicines that activate the immune system may be used in combinations, just as more traditional chemotherapies have been, specialists said here at the 2018 annual meeting of the National Academy of Medicine.

However, the prospect of using combinations of these immunotherapies will exacerbate already intense concerns about the cost of treatment.

Immunotherapy is a rapidly growing field within oncology. Last year saw approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of two more checkpoint inhibitors, durvalumab (Imfinzi, AstraZeneca) and avelumab (Bavencio, EMD Serono Inc). The drugs join about a half dozen others of that class now available for a growing number of indications. More are on their way — the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has estimated that about 295 immuno-oncology medicines and vaccines are in development.

read the original full article