Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, if Dendreon's Provenge receives regulatory approval, surveyed oncologists expect to prescribe Provenge to 54 percent of patients with asymptomatic hormone refractory metastatic prostate cancer. Due to the side effects associated with currently available chemotherapy, most oncologists recommend that men who have stopped responding to hormone therapy wait for the development of symptoms before starting chemotherapy.
The new Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Clinician and Payer Attitudes Toward Emerging Cancer Vaccines for Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, and Glioma finds that clinicians are willing to prescribe Provenge to patients in the absence of symptoms. The report also finds that three-quarters of surveyed oncologists and urologists consider Provenge a major breakthrough in the treatment of prostate cancer. Additionally, 89 percent of surveyed urologists expect to prescribe Provenge for prostate cancer.
"Treatment rates for advanced prostate cancer will be boosted by an effective vaccine which also carries a benign side effect profile," said Decision Resources Analyst Marcus Hoyle. "Surveyed clinicians indicate they are very encouraged by the fact that, in a Phase III clinical trial, Provenge demonstrated an improvement in median overall survival in prostate cancer patients."
In addition to Provenge, other therapeutic vaccines in development for cancer include Merck KGaA's Stimuvax for non-small-cell lung cancer and Celldex Therapeutics/Pfizer's CDX-110 for glioblastoma multiforme (glioma). Surveyed experts consider both drugs to be the most promising therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of these two diseases, owing to an impressive effect on overall survival in Phase II clinical trials.
Therapeutic cancer vaccines are likely to command a high price. Although most surveyed clinicians expect to prescribe these agents, a minority of surveyed managed care organizations' (MCO) pharmacy directors expect to place Provenge, Stimuvax and CDX-110 on the top two tiers of their formularies. Only 25 percent of surveyed MCOs expect to place Provenge on tier one or tier two of their formularies, assuming the vaccine is priced in line with Roche/Chugai's Avastin. Additionally, of surveyed MCOs, 30 percent expect to place Stimuvax on the top two tiers of their formularies and 35 percent expect to place CDX-110 on the top two tiers of their formularies.
Clinician and Payer Attitudes Toward Emerging Cancer Vaccines for Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, and Glioma is based on a U.S. survey of 70 oncologists, 71 urologists and 20 MCO pharmacy directors. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic and scientific factors.
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