Targeted therapy: cutting-edge cancer treatment to be used in Moscow

Targeted therapy: cutting-edge cancer treatment to be used in Moscow
New drugs are able to selectively affect certain types of tumours with minimum side effects.

Starting from 1 April, Moscow will  use cutting-edge cancer treatment. Patients suffering from breast cancer, prostate cancer, kidney, rectum (colorectal cancer), bronchi (lung) or melanoma will be fully provided with new medication.  These six cancer types account for 80 percent of all cancers. These and other issues were discussed at the consensus conference of Moscow oncologists at the Loginov Moscow Clinical Scientific Centre.

The Moscow Government has already allocated extra RUB 15.6 billion for the purchase of targeted and immune therapy drugs that selectively affect certain types of malignant tumours. These drugs have minimal side effects. This treatment allows gaining control over the tumour and gives a chance to save a patient's life even with those cancers that have been considered fatal before.

"It should be noted that the cost of therapy to be paid from the Compulsory Health Insurance will not be determined by the average rates, but will be patient-specific for each case of treatment with specific medicines. In addition, the need for targeted drugs will be partly met at the expense of the Moscow budget. Thus, all patients who need targeted and immune therapy medicines will receive them in full,'' Moscow Government Minister, Head of the Moscow Healthcare Department Alexei Khripun reported.

According to him, the new therapy will be available to 95,000 Moscow residents.

According to the Moscow's chief oncologist Igor Khatkov, thanks to extra funding, the doctors have access to the vast majority of cancer treatments used worldwide.

"36 targeted medicines are used in the international cancer treatment practice, with 32 drugs approved for use in the Russian Federation, and they have already been used in Moscow. Medication can be used in a day-patient treatment, which is another advantage. It makes the treatment process more comfortable for a patient," Igor Khatkov said.

The consensus conference participants have also reported that Moscow has advanced significantly in the development of oncology service. Over the eight years, the proportion of patients with diseases diagnosed at early stages (I and II) has increased to almost 60 percent in 2018, and five-year survival rate of patients with malignant tumours has increased by almost 30 percent.

Moscow will be the first city in Russia to adhere to new Federal Clinical Oncology Guidelines. This will happen three years ahead of schedule provided for by amendments to the Law 'On the Basics of Health Protection in the Russian Federation' adopted recently. Moscow residents will be provided with necessary medicine in addition to the federal list of vital and essential medicines.