Hi TC et al,
Tony, you pose a good question. Banker, I agree with your thougtful reply. A controlled study is required to establish the efficacy of a treatment at various stages of a disease as well as safety. I looked at clinical trials when first diagnosed but quickly decided against it for the same reasons as Tony. I did not want to be in the placebo group. There is an allowance for some patients to recieve drugs that are in trial without being a part of the trial. It is called a "compassionate" use. Here is a link that explains it far better than I can.
My personal opinion is that in the case of a drug such as Albireterone, that has shown so much promise in stage II trials, is that it should be more widely available to a select group as stated by Dave. It is in stage III now and some reports say it may be available by 2011. Still a ways off for some. The down side is if the drug is not approved or not effective enough to be commercially viable. What then for those who are helped by it? I suppose one could say they are no worse off than before and have had some temporary relief. Truly a dilemma.
An adjunct to this question is one of my pet peeves regarding news media reporting of the latest cancer cures. Just this week CBS had one that would utilize specific biological deformities created only in cancer cells to deliver a drug with the ability to discriminate on the basis of the marker and thus attach to and destroy only the cancerous cell. As usual the last line in the report was that the research was experimental but the researchers hope to have a viable treatment within a decade. That may be too late for some of us. I sometime wish they would not publish such preliminary or theoretical research. On the other hand it may do some good in terms of fundraising as people are more prone to donate to a cause that is doing good or making progress.
PSA 21.5 (first and only test resulted from follow up visit to emergency room for kidney stone. first time for kidney stone too)
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan clear
Chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
Started Casodex on May 2 and stopped on June 1, 2008
Lupron injection on May 15 and every four months for next two years
PSA test on July 14, 08 after 8 weeks hormone .82
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 to be full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.
Completed IMRT/IGRT 09/11/08.
Second Lupron shot 09/11/08
Next PSA test by oncologist 03/09