Recently, there has been uproar in the prostate cancer community over the FDA’s handling of the approval of Provenge. The conflict between patients looking for new treatments and the FDA’s attempt to protect the public is one with a long-standing history and with complex dynamics.

The new activism of the prostrate cancer community is one that is paralleling both the AIDS and the Breast Cancer Community’s struggle. Many in the leadership of the recent protests in Washington and Chicago have talked about wanting to emulate the activities of the early AIDS activists.

The New Yorker Magazine published an article in December of 2006, which gave a very careful analysis of the on going conflict between patient advocates and the FDA. It is wordy, but very well balanced. The article is titled
“The Right to a Trial” with the subtitle of Should Dying Patients Have Access to Experimental Drugs.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW