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Web Exclusives: Value-Based Care

New Orleans, LA—Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) often spend a lifetime using disease-modifying therapy (DMT). Some experts are now wondering whether some of these patients can discontinue treatment without increasing the risk for disease relapse.
New Orleans, LA— The oral investigational agent ozanimod, which is from the same drug class as fingolimod (Gilenya), may be as effective as fingolimod, with fewer safety concerns, for the treatment of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), reported Brett E. Skolnick, PhD, Receptos, San Diego, CA, at the 2017 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers annual meeting. Dr Skolnick stepped in for the lead investigator Giancarlo Comi, MD, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Neurology, Milan, Italy, who was unable to attend the meeting.
Elderly women with cerebrovascular disease had a significantly increased risk for dementia if they took calcium supplements, a retrospective analysis of 2 studies showed.
Orlando, FL—A growing body of evidence supports vitamin D as a dietary factor associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). The question remains, however, whether low serum levels of vitamin D may predispose patients to MS, or whether low levels are a part of the disease, and whether supplementation is really protective. Regardless, the data are suggestive enough to make vitamin D supplementation part of MS management, according to Ellen Mowry, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, who discussed the topic at the 2017 Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis meeting.
Enhanced molecular understanding of primary brain tumors has driven recent advances in treatment, which have extended beyond chemotherapy and radiotherapy to include immunomodulatory agents and electromagnetic fields applied directly to the scalp. Andrew B. Lassman, MD, Chief, Division of Neuro-Oncology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, provided an overview of the latest developments in the treatment of brain tumors at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.
Long-term follow-up of the French 1 Stop Imatinib Study (STIM1) in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has demonstrated that imatinib (Gleevec) can be safely discontinued in patients with a deep molecular response (ie, lasting at least 2 years). According to data presented at ASH 2015, molecular relapse was very rare after 6 months of stopping imatinib, and no relapse was reported after 2 years.
Approximately 40% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) fail to take 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) as prescribed, and a sizable majority of parents and children with ALL overreport the intake of a critical drug for maintaining remission, according to a study reported by lead investigator Wendy Landier, PhD, RN, NP, Children’s of Alabama, Birmingham, and colleagues at ASH 2015. The study suggests that electronic reporting using TrackCap, a medication event monitoring system (MEMS), is more reliable than self-reports.

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