November 10, 2012

$PVCT.OB: When Does PV-10 Fail?

"Put enough water onto the fire, and it goes out."

The compassionate use program, where doctors have significantly more flexibility than in the clinical trials to treat and re-treat patients revealed much to Provectus management about what the drug can truly accomplish when it enables the body's own immune system to cure cancer in a patient (and how to better design the pivotal MM Phase 3 trial). Put enough water onto the fire, and it goes out. Regularly treat the patient with enough PV-10 and, over time, the cancer goes away.

Constrained by treatment. As such, some trial failures of PV-10 are not actually failures. Some "failures" occur out of necessity because of the design of the trials. In both the dermatology and oncology studies, management was inhibited by the trial design per regulatory compliance. In the MM Phase 1 and 2 trials, principal investigators were only allowed to inject a few tumors. Nevertheless, you have to be impressed by how well the bystander effect worked given the trial constraints hamstringing the treatment approach. Injecting all accessible tumors with PV-10, of course, would be best. The impact of this is to (a) lower the tumor burden and, thus, the load the patient's immune system has to overcome, and (b) address tumor heterogeneity. Tumors are heterogeneous; that is, they are not all the same antigenically (i.e., what they present to the immune system). So, if the antigens the immune system needs to see are on in one tumor and not another, it is vital to inject PV-10 into as many tumors as possible.

Constrained by time of reporting. Some patients were fine at, say, week XXX; however, the trial design required observation at week X (XXX > X). Efficacy at week XXX, even if higher or better, goes unreported. The patient was listed as a failure.

Constrained by physician implementation. The trial design prevented tumors from being injected more than once: A doctor missed a tumor. There was no ability to retreat to correct the miss. The patient was listed as a failure.

Constrained by patient behavior. It is rumored a PV-10 trial patient flew from the U.S. to Australia in order to participate in the MM Phase 2 trial. His tumors were injected, and they went away. Apparently, it also is rumored that he broke his promise to stay and be observed, and returned home to the U.S. The patient was listed as a failure.

Our immune system can be overwhelmed. As with an infection, doctors use antibiotics to slow it down until the immune system itself can clear it away and cure the patient. If the host cannot help, there is no cure.

Provectus treats cancer like an infectious disease.

Thus, in the case of very late stage disease or very heavy tumor burden disease, more PV-10 is applied at the outset, the drug is applied again and again (i.e., re-treat or throw more water onto the fire), or PV-10 is combined with radiotherapy, chemotherapy or other immunotherapies to stimulate the immune system, reduce the burden and "hold the infection in place" and, eventually, allow the patient's immune system to takeover and finish the task of healing the body.

Failure? Perhaps not so much.

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