Last week the FDA held an ODAC hearing to review the possible approval of Satraplatin as a drug available for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Anyone can apply to testify at the hearings. I testified along with several others representing the men dealing with advanced prostate cancer. Below is my testimony.
My name is Kathy Meade. I am active with several cancer related groups, SPORE advocates,
My main reason to be here is to remind you why we are all here, the advocates, the FDA, the companies and the review committee, the welfare of men dealing with prostate cancer.
In reviewing materials for today’s presentation I found a quote from an ovarian cancer patient that exemplifies the struggle of all cancer patients dealing with end stages of a terminal disease and the difficulties of current treatments:
“After the first chemo I spent most of the week wondering how I would react, what would the side effects be like this time, would they get worse, will this treatment work, what if it doesn’t, etc. So far I’m doing okay, but trying to take my focus off of all these questions can be a challenge at times. I honestly feel like this should be old hat for me, and that I should be far more at ease and comfortable with the balance of undergoing treatment and my daily life. But in recently talking to other people who are living with cancer I’m reminded that it’s okay to be confused, angry, and even frightened. It’s just not okay to let it control the rest of your life.”
We need you to help men with prostate cancer find ways to not let progressive prostate cancer control the rest of their lives.
There are two men who I know would be here today to talk to you but unfortunately they are lost to us.
Tom Witte and Mike Rice were both tireless advocates for men with prostate cancer and doing whatever they could to lead the way to new, effective treatments that allow men to lead a good life with the time they have left. They both actively participated in clinical trials that they were eligible for. They also both gave the ultimate gift at the end of their lives. They donated their bodies for medical research, Mike to the warm autopsy program at the
I got involved in cancer advocacy when my husband Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Two years after this diagnosis he was diagnosed with a second primary cancer in his lungs. At that time he was treated with Taxol and Carboplatin. The treatment was difficult but he did what he had to do to stay alive for me as long as possible. The oncologist told me that he felt the major cause of his side effects was the carboplatin. I am hoping that with this new formulation and the oral administration some of the side effects that Bill experienced have been lessened significantly. I lost Bill in 1998.
We want and need more options for men at end stage disease or to keep them from reaching end stage. Our first choice would be treatments with minimal side effects but unfortunately that is not the case with most chemotherapies but if they show they extend lives it will be worth the extra time for at least some men if not all men. Unfortunately because of the side effects some men will bypass chemotherapy.
We are here today at the end point of the donations of the men who participated in the clinical trials, to review this new treatment for prostate cancer. If it is safe and extends the lives of men dealing with this devastating disease I urge you to approve Satraplatin.
First handout for the panel;
Tom was active in the Virginia Prostate Cancer Coalition and was an inspiration to us all. Tom’s death at 57 years is a poignant reminder that the face of cancer is too often that of a loved one or valued friend. It is not simply a statistic. Indeed, from time to time, when we become weary in our battle against this disease, we only need to remember a father, friend or brother to re-energize our resolve to continue.
“I got prostate cancer in my early 40’s. Because we don’t check men under 50, I did not find I had it until after it had escaped my prostate and I started to have symptoms. I was age 47. Even then while a cure option was slight, I lost an opportunity for better and longer control because my Doctors were out of date. They told me to go away and come back when I had pain