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Aetna, Cigna balk as Angelina effect spurs genetic cancer testing
Reuters
Medical researchers call it the "Angelina Effect," the surge in demand for genetic testing attributable to movie star Angelina Jolie's public crusade for more aggressive detection of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. But there's a catch: Major insurance companies including Aetna, Anthem and Cigna are declining to pay for the latest generation of tests, known as multi-gene panel tests, Reuters has learned. The insurers say that the tests are unproven and may lead patients to seek out medical care they don't need.
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SGO NEWS


New look for Gynecologic Oncology journal
Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecologic Oncology Reports debuted redesigned covers this month. In her April 2015 editorial, Editor-in-Chief Beth Y. Karlan, MD, explained that the new look will “allow us to better highlight exciting research results, publications, and other advances in our field.” Dr. Karlan also noted that last year more than 1 million articles from Gynecologic Oncology were downloaded worldwide. If you don’t receive the journal and want access to the latest scientific research in gynecologic cancer, subscribe today or email membership@sgo.org for more information.
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BREAST CANCER


New treatment for drug-resistant breast cancer found
Medical News Today
Researchers investigating the way in which HER2-positive breast cancer becomes resistant to treatment have made a surprising discovery concerning how this resistance develops. However, they may have also discovered a way to prevent this resistance from manifesting entirely. The study, published in Cell Reports, reveals a new combination therapy involving the commonly-used drug lapatinib and a novel experimental drug called a BET bromodomain inhibitor whose role is to disrupt the expression of certain genes.
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HEALTH POLICY


Doc costs outpace doc pay long-term in SGR bill, says CMS
Medscape (Free login required)
Medicare pay to physicians would not keep pace with their practice costs in the long run under a bipartisan bill before the Senate that would repeal the program's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, according to a study from the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The result could be worse than if Congress fails to kills off the SGR formula, the study warned.
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Why survival rate is not the best way to judge cancer spending
The New York Times
In 2012, a study published in Health Affairs argued that the big money we spend on health care in the United States is worth it, at least when it comes to cancer. The researchers found that the survival gains seen in the United States equated to more than $550 billion in additional value, more than the difference in spending. This research depended on survival rates. A new study was recently published in the same journal, but using mortality rates. That study found that cancer care in the United States might provide significantly less value than that in Western Europe. Which should you believe?
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CAREERS


Seven job-search mistakes of new physicians
Medscape (Free login required)
Each year, tens of thousands of final-year residents and fellows start looking for their first job. They have to deal with thousands of job openings, decide what kind of job they want, focus on a particular offering, and negotiate a contract. This is a tough challenge for new physicians, who often have little background in the business of medicine. "Starting a career is one of the toughest things they'll do," says Tony Stajduhar, president of the Permanent Recruitment Division of Jackson & Coker, a nationwide physician recruiter based in Alpharetta, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb.
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HPV


Smartphone-based device detects cancer cells
Voice of America
A new smartphone-based device can diagnose the presence of cancer cells in a blood sample. The technology is so portable, it can be used in remote areas where more sophisticated equipment for cancer detection is in short supply. In a study published in PNAS involving 25 cell samples from women suspected of having cervical cancer, the cellphone's tiny camera came up with a preliminary diagnosis within 45 minutes.
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DOCUMENTARY


Part 1: Oncologists weigh in on Ken Burns' cancer documentary
MedPage Today
The three-part PBS documentary, "Ken Burns Presents Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a Film by Barak Goodman," based on medical oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD's 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer," was promoted as a vehicle to both educate and mobilize the public about cancer, but what did it mean to oncologists? MedPage Today interviewed 12 leading oncologists and cancer researchers to get their reactions as well as their predictions about the potential for lasting impact. Each was asked a number of questions including overall impressions of the documentary's accuracy and balance, and reactions — if any — from patients.

Click here to read Part 2: Oncologists weigh in on PBS cancer documentary

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Women's Cancer News
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Jessica Taylor, Senior Medical Editor, 202-684-7169  
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