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.

To sign up for advocacy alerts, log in to ASCO.org with your member or guest account, and visit the subscription center available under your account profile.

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.

March 30, 2021

UPDATE: On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the House passed the Senate bill to extend the moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts through the end of the calendar year. President Biden signed the bill into law on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. CMS has resumed processing claims. 

Both chambers of the United States Congress recently passed separate bills to extend the temporary moratorium on the 2% sequestration cut to Medicare reimbursement. The moratorium is currently set to expire on March 31, 2021, and both bills would extend the moratorium until December 31, 2021. However, since the House and Senate legislation differ, further action is needed before the extension becomes law.

March 30, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is holding its 2021 ASCO Advocacy Summit Week of Action from April 12-16. During the Week of Action, ASCO members can visit ASCO’s easy-to-use ACT Network to quickly and efficiently contact their lawmakers to urge them to take action on cancer policy priorities.

March 29, 2021

On March 26, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved idecabtagene vicleucel (Abecma, Bristol Myers Squibb) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma after four or more prior lines of therapy, including an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody. This is the first FDA-approved cell-based gene therapy for multiple myeloma.

March 26, 2021

Beginning April 1, additional savings may be available for new and current consumers who purchase health insurance on HealthCare.gov following passage of the American Rescue Plan. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also extended access to the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the federally funded health insurance marketplace until August 15, to provide additional time for consumers to enroll or make changes to their coverage with the tax credits that become available April 1.

March 26, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology joined the Prevent Cancer Foundation® and more than 300 other organizations from across the country in signing a letter to convey support for the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act. The legislation would allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to evaluate and cover multi-cancer early detection tests once they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

March 22, 2021

On March 22, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.) in combination with platinum and fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy for patients with metastatic or locally advanced esophageal or gastroesophageal (GEJ) (tumors with epicenter 1 to 5 centimeters above the gastroesophageal junction) carcinoma who are not candidates for surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation.

March 19, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) congratulates Xavier Becerra on his confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Secretary Becerra is now in a key position to lead HHS during the agency’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to address the many challenges facing patients and providers across the cancer care delivery system, such as health care disparities and the high cost of care.

March 16, 2021

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) will jointly host a virtual meeting on April 9 to build on efforts to broaden eligibility criteria to make clinical trials more representative.

March 16, 2021

On Thursday, March 11, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package into law. The legislation, known as the American Rescue Plan, allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit that would mean new monthly payments to many parents.

March 15, 2021

The latest issue of JCO Oncology Practice features a new Special Series of articles examining the disparities and barriers faced in cancer care. The articles detail challenges experienced by people of different cultures, backgrounds, ages, and socioeconomic factors, and provides a framework for addressing disparities in underserved communities.

March 10, 2021

On March 10, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved tivozanib (Fotivda, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), a kinase inhibitor, for adult patients with relapsed or refractory advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following two or more prior systemic therapies.

March 8, 2021

On March 5, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta, Kite Pharma, Inc.) for adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

March 4, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) endorsed the “PREVENT HPV Cancers Act” (H.R. 1550), which was recently introduced by Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14). In a recent letter to the lawmaker, ASCO thanked Rep. Castor for introducing this important measure to increase research on, awareness of, and access to the vaccine which prevents the human papillomavirus (HPV) types that cause most types of cervical cancers as well as some other cancers.

March 4, 2021

On March 3, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted regular approval to lorlatinib (Lorbrena, Pfizer Inc.) for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors are anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, detected by an FDA-approved test.

March 2, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), as part of the Cancer Leadership Council (CLC), sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) offering the group’s perspective on progress to date in the effort to vaccinate people with cancer and other serious health concerns against COVID-19.

Pages