I don’t know about you, but I am waiting very anxiously for today’s presentation at the AUA conference from Dendreon about Provenge. It is an absolute shame that we have been put into the position that we needed to wait for more men to die before moving ahead.

I am concerned that all of the hoopla generated from the prior announcement from Dendreon doesn’t measure up to the true statistics, but I still remain very strongly optimistic, hopeful and excited. I am sad that I am not at the AUA meeting to hear the numbers, but must wait a little longer to find out what they actually are.

Just remember, even if the numbers are as good as we hope, we will still need to wait well into 2010 before we have any hope of receiving the approval from the FDA. Then if the treatment is approved we will be constrained by the cost of the treatment and for whom the treatment will be approved.

As I have written about in the past, I believe that any FDA approval will be restricted to those of us who are the sickest (even though Provenge appears to need time to make head way against this terrible disease, advanced prostate cancer). Off label use by those of us who are not as progressed will probably not be covered by insurance and the cost of the treatment, what ever it will be, will not be cheap.

I know that we all will “tuned into” the announcement and the next few days will be full of both news in the public media and analysis of the data. If you believe in prayer now is a good time to ask for a little extra help.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW