Well, it wasn't for a lack of marketing. TV ads, magazine ads, online ads, etc...were plentiful. I actually signed up through their website and the kit they sent was impressive as well.
I think there were multiple problems:
- there were conflicting reports of its effectiveness early on and that didn't do them any favors.
- It does have an overall survival benefit, but it's not overwhelming. Compare this to the CHAARTED study. HT plus chemo over just chemo for high volume mets produced the survival benefits that all of us are looking for. (Don't get me wrong---it's great that it has a benefit, but not as clear or better as some of the other studies.)
- competition from other drugs like Zytiga and Xtandi. Even though these drugs are probably just as expensive, they are taken monthly and the cost is monthly...not one big price....and thus Provenge got a bad wrap for being so expensive.
- Provenge requires a bit of logistics and is a lot harder to administer compared to simpler oral drugs.
- Provenge is only approved for hormone resistant prostate cancer. I saw no indication that this would ever be available for hormone sensitive prostate cancer despite everyone saying that it should be taken early in the disease. Not having a path to get there leaves a limited number of potential customers...as noted above in the number of guys that got Provenge and the poor sales. This isn't necessarily a fault of the company, but the clinical study world we live in where OS is primarily the determining factor on how drugs are approved.
- PSA can't be used as a valid cancer marker for Provenge. That's probably a tough sell for doctors and patients. Compare this to other drugs or studies where PSA is an important guide to progression. If Provenge would have shown immediate drops in PSA that would help.
I hope Provenge continues to be available because we need all the tools we can get.
Just my 2 cents.
11/09 Dx at Age 44 ----------- 4.03
12/09 DaVinci Surgery,t3b,g9 <.05
2/10 Adj. Radiation ----------- <.05
3/11 PSA Rise/Scans/Spot ---- .09
on Pelvic Bone
4/11 HT/XGEVA/Spot Radiation -- .06
2012 -- <.015 (ADT3 until October)
2013 -- <.015 (off HT entire year)
10/2014 -- <.015 (24 months since last Lupron shot)
Post Edited (Jerry L.) : 11/11/2014 11:29:50 AM (GMT-7)