A New Therapeutic Vaccine Against Prostate Cancer – Part 1 of 3
A New Therapeutic Vaccine Against Prostate Cancer. A newly approved restorative prostate cancer vaccine won the support Wednesday of a Medicare prediction committee, increasing the chances that Medicare will pay for the drug. Officials from Medicare, the federal insurance program for the elderly and disabled, will consider the committee’s vote when making a final decision on payment. Such a verdict is expected in several months, the Wall Street Journal reported. The vaccine, called Provenge and made by the Dendreon Corp, costs $93000 per patient and extends survival by about four months on average, according to results from clinical trials.
A burn the midnight oil published in July in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the vaccine extended the lives of men with metastatic tumors intransigent to standard hormonal treatment, compared with no treatment. And the therapy involved less toxicity than chemotherapy.
Provenge is a therapeutic (not preventive) vaccine made from the patient’s own white blood cells. Once removed from the patient, the cells are treated with the opiate and placed back into the patient. These treated cells then trigger an immune response that in turn kills cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed.