Thomas J. Smith, MD
Emerging targeted therapies are extending survival in many cancers, but the cost of these new treatments is often high. For example, sipuleucel-T (Provenge, Dendreon) for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer costs ,000 for the full course of three infusions. Ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol-Myers Squibb), the first treatment for metastatic melanoma to improve overall survival in more than 10 years, costs 0,000 for four infusions over a span of just three months. Everolimus (Afinitor, Novartis), for renal cell carcinoma and pancreatic cancer, costs ,000 a month.
Like it or not, economics are driving treatment choices for patients in the real world.