Cancer and Job Lock

A third of cancer survivors report that they or their partners have stayed in jobs due to concerns about health insurance, according to a study published April 23 in JAMA Oncology. The survivors were surveyed in 2011, 2016 and 2017. Survivors who were earning between 138% and 400% of the federal poverty level were more likely than those earning more or less money to report staying in their jobs due to insurance concerns, a phenomenon called job lock. The researchers point out that these survivors would not have been eligible for Medicaid but still may not have had ample options for jobs with good health insurance benefits. The federal poverty level is currently $12,760 per year for individuals.

Earlier Colorectal Cancer Screening for High-Risk Individuals?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that colorectal cancer screening begin at age 50 for members of the general population. Some other organizations offer guidance on starting screening earlier for people with family histories that put them at high risk. For a paper published April 20 in Cancer, researchers analyzed data on 2,473 people with colorectal cancer and 772 people without colorectal cancer between the ages of 40 and 49, noting whether these people would have been offered early screening according to guidelines put out by organizations. They found that around a quarter of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer would have met early screening criteria, compared to 10% of people without colorectal cancer. “Our findings suggest that using family history-based criteria to identify individuals for earlier screening is justified and has promise for helping to identify individuals at risk for young-onset colorectal cancer,” study co-author Samir Gupta of the VA San Diego Healthcare System and the University of California, San Diego, said in a press release.

A New Treatment for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

The Food and Drug Administration on April 22 approved Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer who have already received two other treatments. Trodelvy consists of a chemotherapy drug attached to an antibody that targets a receptor that​ is highly expressed on cancer cells. The phase III trial testing Trodelvy in triple-negative breast cancer patients was halted early on April 6 due to “compelling evidence of efficacy.” Around a third of patients’ cancers responded to the treatment and the responses lasted a median 7.7 months.​​​​