The International Society of Clinical Oncology says cancer treatment medications should be updated to meet the latest scientific and regulatory guidance.
The group, which advises on the health of the global cancer population, said it was reviewing the FDA’s guidance on testing and modifying medications.
“It’s critical that we update our current guideline, and if there is a need for additional testing, then we will be making those recommendations to the FDA,” said James Davenport, executive director of the group.
“Our recommendation is that we should update our existing guidelines to reflect the current science and information available at the time, and to incorporate this additional testing into our guideline recommendations,” he said.
The FDA, which issued the FDA guidance in December, has made several changes since then, including requiring a second, third or fourth test to determine whether the patient is taking the medication correctly.
The agency says it will update its guidelines again this year, but in 2019, it will allow the FDA to set a maximum daily dose.
That would be around two and a half times the dose that the current guidelines suggest, but it’s still below the recommended daily dose of at least 50 milligrams.
The organization says the average American has only about 3,000 milligram doses of a cancer treatment drug, so it’s important that the drugs are re-evaluated.
Davenport said he thinks that the FDA is moving in the right direction, but he added that there’s a need to have more testing to ensure that patients are taking their prescribed medications properly.
The recommendations do not affect patients’ right to continue receiving the treatment, which means they could still decide to stop receiving the medication if they change their minds, he said, adding that patients should have the right to request the testing.
“If patients want to continue taking their medications as they are, they should have that right, but they should not have the burden of that choice,” Davenpool said.
“We have to have a reasonable expectation that patients will continue to receive their medication.”