Posted 7/17/2010 12:01 PM (GMT -6)
It's important to note that experimental drugs in clinical trials are tested with very specific protocols during the trials. Once a drug is approved for use by the FDA it is with those specific protocols in the trials used to get the drug approved. Abiraterone is one such example. In the trials for that drug, patients had to have failed chemotherapy and were castration resistant in their disease. What we won't learn from the trial is if using the drug early on, such as before chemo, or before the disease becomes refractory, would reap better results.
This is precisely where we are with Provenge. While approved for patients that have failed chemo and have HRPC, they are the only candidates for this treatment. Nick Vogelzang told me that he was happy the drug was released, but that we may be missing a very huge opportunity in identifying if the drug could even prevent the ONSET of prostate cancer in know cases of hereditary disease. Or even that Provenge could be better used before chemotherapy.
This is where great researches from the prostate arena make great oncologists. We do need the FDA to monitor controlled releases of drugs, but once they are released, we need our top oncologists to control the next studies, through the FDA, to see if there are better ways to use the drugs.
While this is only one patient that Myers is treating, we can do better getting this information in a database for our top oncologists.