New Delaware law will expand cancer treatment options

September 20, 2017

NEWARK, Del. (AP) — Cancer patients in Delaware will soon have more treatment options.

A bill signed Wednesday by Gov. John Carney requires health insurers to cover any medically appropriate drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of stage 4 metastatic cancer and other cancers, without requiring proof that the patient failed to respond to a different drug or drugs.

The bill, based on legislation in Georgia inspired by former president Jimmy Carter’s recent battle with cancer, requires that the use of the drug or drugs is supported by national clinical guidelines and standards of care, and peer-reviewed medical literature.

Officials say one of the most promising treatments is immunotherapy, which activates a patient’s immune system to fight cancer instead of directly destroying cancer cells with chemotherapy.