There are many FDA-approved drugs for advanced prostate cancer (PC), yet public interest in these drugs is not well understood. We compared public interest and state-level predictors of interest in five common oral adjunctive hormonal therapies.
Google Trends™ was queried for: “Enzalutamide”, “Abiraterone Acetate”, “Bicalutamide”, “Apalutamide”, and “Darolutamide” in the United States from January 2004 to November 2022. Data are presented as relative search index (RSI) by month. RSI ranges from 0 to 100 with 100 being peak popularity, 50 being half of the peak popularity, and 0 representing insufficient data to be determined.
Several drugs abruptly increased in popularity following FDA approval including abiraterone, enzalutamide, and apalutamide. All drugs decreased in popularity from January 2020 to July 2020, corresponding with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the most recent 5 years, enzalutamide and abiraterone were the most common searched drugs, with bicalutamide a close 3rd place. States that did not expand Medicaid were significantly more likely to have bicalutamide as the top search drug vs. states that expanded Medicaid (p = 0.012). Across all states with data (n = 39), higher bicalutamide RSIs were significantly associated with lower household income (r = 0.385, p = 0.02) and greater percent of uninsured adults (r = 0.426, p = 0.007). This is the first study using Google Trends to compare advanced PC drugs by search popularity.
Despite the emergence of more effective medications, bicalutamide remains relatively popular, particularly in states with lower household income, more uninsured adults, or those that did not expand Medicaid, possibly due to its lower cost.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, SD, upon reasonable request.
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SD was supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training in Urologic and Gynecologic Cancers (PCORT UroGynCan: T32CA251072). JD was supported by NIH grants TL1 DK132768 and U2C DK 129496. GCG was supported by the Department of Defense Health Disparities Research Fellowship. NAF was supported by an NIH grant T32CA240172. JG was supported by an 2022 PCF Young Investigator Award, Department of Defense Health Disparity Research Award W81XWH-19-1-0748, and American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant RSG-18-018-01-CPHPS.
SJF – consultant for Bayer, Astellas, Astra Zeneca, Janssen, Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi and speaker for Astra Zeneca and Sanofi. EP – receives research funding from Pfizer/Astellas, speaker for Bayer and Myovant, advisor for Bayer and Janssen. JG – Consultant for Janssen, Myovant, Astellas, Pfizer, Bayer, Elsevier, Exelixis, and Incyte. WA – Consultant for Bayer, Janssen, Pfizer, Astellas, Myovant. The other authors declare no competing interests.
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Das, S., Friedrich, N.A., Daniels, J. et al. Relative search popularity of five advanced prostate cancer medications using Google Trends. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41391-023-00716-9