April 29th, 2010
07:14 PM ET

'Landmark' cancer vaccine gets FDA approval

A vaccine treatment for prostate cancer has become the first therapy of its kind to win approval for use in U.S. patients.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Provenge, a novel technique for fighting prostate cancer, on Thursday. The treatment involves taking a patient's own white blood cells and using a drug that trains them to more actively attack cancer cells.

"It's a landmark in the sense that it would be the first approved cell-based immune therapy," said Dr. Nina Bhardwaj, director of the tumor vaccine program at New York University Langone Medical Center, who is not involved with Provenge or its maker, Dendreon Corp.

The treatment is intended only for men with so-called "metastatic castration-resistant" prostate cancer, for whom hormone suppressant therapy has not worked. Studies have shown that Provenge prolongs survival by about four to 4.5 months.

Read the full CNN.com story

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Prevent Disease Instead of Treating Symptoms

    $93,000.00 for this "vaccine"? 4.1 months average life extension for each patient?

    How about taking vitamin D3 supplements and preventing many cancers?

    How about massive double blind testing immediately?

    American medicine, enslaved by drug companies, makes certain to impoverish every patient prior to their expiration. When will it end- this fantastically expensive process before death?

    In case American medicine did not notice we are going broke because of medication costs no matter what insurance plan we have. And that cost, even while heavily subsidized, is being transferred to the living.

    Treating symptoms is not the answer. Waiting to get sick, until each and every one of us has our number pulled, is not the way life should be lived. With all these lives and trillions of dollars at stake isn't there a better way?

    April 30, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
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