dition that must be administered by infusions. “Because these drugs have doubled the survival rate for metastatic colon cancer, you’re going to be seeing twice as many patients on any given day,” pointed out Dr. Shulman, and metastatic colon cancer patients are receiving many more infusions. “The number of approved parenteral (intravenous) oncology drugs in general continues to go up very rapidly and that affects our ability to administer care,” he added (see Figure 6). Data from Dana-Farber reveal that the number of physician visits per patient, per year, during the first year of therapy at this cancer center have increased by 25 percent between 2001 and 2007, and the number of infusion visits have more than doubled (Shulman et
FIGURE 6 This graph depicts the cumulative number of FDA-approved oncology drugs by year and route of administration. Parenteral drugs are administered to the body in a manner other than through the digestive tract, such as through an intravenous or intramuscular injection. PO drugs are administered to the body orally (from the Latin “per os,” by mouth). This data does not include re-approvals for new indications, or ancillary or support medications. It also does not reflect the volume of usage for the types of drugs.
SOURCE: Shulman presentation (October 20, 2008) and Shulman, L. N., L. A. Jacobs, S. Greenfield, B. Jones, M. S. McCabe, K. Syrjala, L. Diller, C. L. Shapiro, A. C. Marcus, M. Campbell, S. Santacroce, M. Kagawa-Singer, and P. A. Ganz. 2009 (In press). Cancer care and cancer survivorship care in the US: Will we be able to care for these patients in the future? Journal of Oncology Practice. Reprinted with permission. © 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.