Provenge, the first prostate cancer treatment vaccine of its kind, has been approved by the FDA.
According to the newspaper, the vaccine does not prevent or cure prostate cancer, but it does help men with advanced prostate cancer live four months longer. Kantoff told the newspaper that more than 32% of men given Provenge were still alive three years later, compared to 23% of men given a placebo. According to the American Cancer Society, 192,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, with 27,000 dying as a result of the disease.
According to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Phillip Kantoff, the treatments are administered in a series of three shots that administer a custom-made drug using the patients’ own cells, which trains the immune system to recognize and destroy malignant cells.
The FDA has approved Provenge as the first cancer vaccine. A cancer vaccine of this type gives patients more time to seek additional treatment and make sure their affairs, such as final wills and life insurance documentation, are in order.