Providers must redefine cancer CI policies following breakthrough treatment
Critical illness (CI) policyholders may not be able to claim for skin cancer soon after a recent breakthrough could render the disease curable and no longer critical.
Insurers will have to look at the definitions within CI relating to cancer following a groundbreaking development.
Last month, a cure for skin cancer came a step closer to fruition after American researchers took cancer-fighting immune cells, made five billion copies, then put them back into a man riddled with the disease.
After this had been done, scans showed the tumours had disappeared and after two years he remained disease-free. They also found that cells persisted in the body for months after the treatment.
The authors of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found their technique applied only to a patient with a particular type of immune system and tumour type and could only work for a small percentage of people with advanced skin cancer.
Commenting on the findings, Jonathan French, spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers, said while these were positive for the patient in question, the general principal of the matter remained. "If a critical illness no longer becomes a critical illness through medical advancements, then insurers will have to look at the way it is dealt with in their policies," he added.
In other cancer related news, the treatment of breast cancer took a leap forward with the launch of a new treatment dubbed Tyverb. It contrasts with other drugs, where some women found their breast cancer started to grow again after a year of treatment.
The development of this new drug means it is able to target highly aggressive and fast-growing ErbB2-positive advanced breast cancer. It is a small molecule that can get into the cancer cell to fight the disease from the inside.
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