Which drug will dominate growing prostate-cancer market?

The prostate cancer treatment market is growing by leaps and bounds--that's certain. Global sales of prostate cancer drugs will grow to $8.9 billion by 2019, up from about $4 billion in 2009, Decision Resources has said. What's not certain is how that market will be divided.

A lot depends on uptake of new drugs, both the recently approved--such as Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Zytiga and Dendreon's ($DNDN) Provenge--and the yet-to-be-approved, such as a Medivation ($MDVN) candidate now in clinical trials, as Reuters reports. Analysts have their sales projections: $815 million for Zytiga by 2015, $1.3 billion for Provenge by the same year, and $297 million for Medivation's drug by that time, assuming it's approved.

What do doctors think? A recent focus group of oncologists and urologists, conducted by Sanford Bernstein, found Zytiga and similar meds would be used in 40% of prostate cancer patients by 2015, old hormonal therapies would be used in up to 90% of patients and anti-androgens like Medivation's drug would be used in 70% to 80%. Provenge, a vaccine in a class by itself, would be used in up to 12% of patients, the doctors told Bernstein.

Those numbers don't match up so well with the analysts' revenue estimates. But for Provenge and Zytiga, it's early days yet, and Medivation's drug won't set foot on the market for some time.

- read the Reuters story