May 12, 2012

Blog Reader Question

Why is characterizing why PV-10 works systemically so important?

The HemOnc Today conference last month displayed the momentum in and recognition by the medical community for PV-10's application to systemically treat melanoma. I posted a comparison by Dr. Andtbacka's comparison of IL-2, BCG, Allovectin-7, OncoVEX and PV-10. If you use the search bar along the right hand side of the blog, towards the bottom, and enter keywords "hemonc today," you'll be able several more related posts.

It's clear, and has been for a while, that PV-10 is a robust local regional ("loco-regional") treatment, particularly among intralesional therapies. Local treatments for disease have a place in the oncologist's tool kit, and there is a nice but modest valuation for companies that produce drugs of such limited use.

But when you are able to demonstrate deploying a drug effectively systemically treats disease, the utility and thus the value of the drug dramatically increases. Dr. Zager's presentation from HemOnc Today does a nice job (towards the end of the presentation) illustrating the application of systemic and other therapies (based on systemic tumor burden and and loco/regional tumor burden).

Utility increases because the physician can easily pick out the tool out of his or her kit for the job, rather than having to rummage around. Utility increases because surgery may not always have to be the first or best treatment option. Utility increases because diseases in far flung, remote, hard-to-find or detect parts of the body receive much-needed treatment, and help mitigate relapse or insufficient cleansing.

Do all or a lot of the above, and the drug's value provide tremendous valuation for the company that produces it.

Aside from the clinical demonstration of such systemic success, Moffitt's immunology-related work is helping to characterize that PV-10 works systemically, and works very effectively systemically. Thus, better for physicians and their patients, and, eventually, better for shareholders.

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