ASCO in Action

ASCO in Action provides the latest news and analysis related to critical policy issues affecting the cancer community, updates on the Association for Clinical Oncology’s ongoing advocacy efforts, and opportunities for members and others in the cancer care community to take action.

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Tune in to the ASCO in Action podcast series for analysis and commentary on cancer policy and practice issues. The podcast is available through iTunes or Google Play.

October 26, 2021

A new study published today in JCO Oncology Practice found that patients with certain cancers have a higher mortality risk than other cancer types if they have contracted the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Specifically, older patients with B-cell malignancies who acquire SARS-CoV-2 who are undergoing cancer treatment are at increased risk of death compared to other patients with cancer. Previous or current tobacco users who are undergoing cancer treatment are also at increased risk of death if they test positive for SARS-CoV-2.  

October 14, 2021

Oncology practices that participated in a quality improvement project that included ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) and ASCO Quality Training Program (QTP) were able to make improvements in the care provided to underserved populations in their communities, according to a new article published in the Quality of Management in Health Care journal. The program was supported by a grant to Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

October 12, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury (“the Departments”), along with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), released an interim final rule with comment period, entitled “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part II.” This rule is related to Title I (the No Surprises Act) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and implements additional protections against surprise medical bills under the No Surprises Act, including provisions related to the independent dispute resolution process, good faith estimates for uninsured (or self-pay) individuals, the patient-provider dispute resolution process, and expanded rights to external review.

October 7, 2021

On October 7, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted recognition to a partial listing of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Oncology Knowledge Base (OncoKB) as the first tumor mutation database to be included in the Public Human Genetic Variant Databases. 

October 6, 2021

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has partnered with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) for a new initiative to improve vaccination rates among high-risk adults. The partnership is the result of a five-year cooperative agreement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded CMSS—a coalition of 45 specialty societies representing more than 800,000 physicians.

October 5, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) congratulates Dr. Francis Collins on his long and impactful tenure as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

October 4, 2021

On October 1, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved brexucabtagene autoleucel (Tecartus, Kite Pharma, Inc.) for adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

September 28, 2021

The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Coverage and Reimbursement Steering Group presented a poster on utilization of advance care planning (ACP) services at the ASCO Quality Care Symposium.

September 28, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is calling on Congress to continue their bipartisan support of federally funded research. Robust, sustained, and predictable funding growth for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) baseline budgets are critical in advancing our nation’s work towards combating, and ultimately curing, diseases like cancer.

September 28, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule that could increase access to cancer care through an extended open enrollment period and monthly special enrollment periods for federally facilitated health insurance exchanges and state-based exchanges on the federal platform.

September 24, 2021

New research powered by CancerLinQ Discovery® de-identified data sets that is being presented at the 2021 ASCO® Quality Care Symposium (QCS) identified factors that predict the likelihood of short-term mortality for patients with metastatic breast cancer; highlighted important demographic and clinical differences between patients with breast cancer typically considered to be candidates for clinical trials and those seen in routine clinical practice; and characterized the use of telehealth for end-of-life cancer care during the pandemic.

September 22, 2021

On September 22, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved ruxolitinib (Jakafi, Incyte Corp.) for chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) after failure of one or two lines of systemic therapy in adult and pediatric patients 12 years and older.

September 22, 2021

In comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) expressed significant concerns that several provisions in the 2022 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) proposed rule have the potential to undermine access to cancer care for Medicare beneficiaries.

September 21, 2021

On September 20, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to tisotumab vedotin-tftv (Tivdak, Seagen Inc.), a tissue factor-directed antibody and microtubule inhibitor conjugate, for adult patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer with disease progression on or after chemotherapy. 

September 17, 2021

On September 17, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved cabozantinib (Cabometyx, Exelixis, Inc.) for adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older with locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) that has progressed following prior VEGFR-targeted therapy and who are ineligible or refractory to radioactive iodine.