Navigation Links
Medicare Panel Endorses Vaccine for Prostate Cancer Patients
Date:11/18/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A newly approved therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine won the support Wednesday of a Medicare advisory 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 decision is expected in several months, the Wall Street Journal reported. The vaccine, called Provenge and made by the Dendreon Corp., costs $93,000 per patient and extends survival by about four months on average, according to results from clinical trials.

A study published in July in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the vaccine extended the lives of men with metastatic tumors resistant 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 drug and placed back into the patient. These treated cells then trigger an immune response that in turn kills cancer cells, leaving normal cells unharmed. The vaccine is given intravenously in a three-dose schedule delivered in two-week intervals.

"The strategy of trying to harness the immune system to fight cancer has been something that people have tried to attain for many years; this is one such strategy," study lead researcher Dr. Philip Kantoff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, told HealthDay.

One expert said the therapy, while far from a cure, "looks promising." Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, an urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that "in this unfortunate category of [hormone-resistant] patient, we have very little to offer. Adding months to a man's life is better than doing nothing, especially if the treatment involves minimal morbidity, as this vaccine promises."

In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Provenge for treatment of prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is resistant to standard hormone treatment.

For the study, Kantoff's group randomly assigned 512 men to receive Provenge or placebo. All of patients had advanced prostate cancer that had proven resistant to standard hormonal therapy.

On average, men receiving Provenge lived 4.1 months longer than men receiving a placebo, the researchers found. Average survival was 25.8 months for men in the Provenge group, compared with 21.7 months for men in the placebo group, meaning that Provenge extended survival by 22 to 25 percent, Kantoff said.

He contends that if the vaccine were used by men with less severe disease survival, it might be extended for even longer.

"Theoretically, if you take people with less diseases and you stimulate the immune system, you could have a more profound effect, but we don't really know that yet," he said.

Compared with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy, Provenge has been touted as having fewer and less severe side effects. In this trial, the most common side effects were chills, fever and headache, the researchers noted.

Commenting on the high cost of Provenge, Kantoff said that "this is a treatment given over a four-week period, as opposed to other treatments that are given over many months, where the costs can be high as well, if not comparable to or more expensive [than Provenge]."

More information

For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Philip Kantoff, M.D., professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, medical oncologist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Elizabeth Kavaler, M.D., urologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; July 29, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine; Wall Street Journal


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Medicare Cost-Saving Moves Can Backfire
2. Connecture, Inc. Announces Partnership with MedicareCRM
3. Medicare data reveals differences in orthopedic surgical outcomes
4. Hayes Announces Appointment Of Dr Susan Levine To The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC)
5. Georgia Senators Urged to Stop Medicare Cut Before March 1 Deadline
6. Top-Rated Medicare Advantage Plan Reaches 27,000-Member Milestone
7. Pelosi Statement on Additional Aid to States In Medicare Part D Payments
8. Medicare Advantage Members May Make Changes During Open Enrollment
9. Partners Home Care Scores in Top Tier in National Medicare Demonstration Project
10. Study Suggests Low-Consuming Medicare Beneficiaries With Chronic Disease Are More Costly to Program
11. Senate Inaction On Medicare Hurts Seniors, Military and Boomers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Medicare Panel Endorses Vaccine for Prostate Cancer Patients
(Date:1/17/2017)... CO (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... protection and financial planning assistance to families and business professionals throughout central Colorado, ... to regional homeless families. , The Aurora Warms The Night organization is committed ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... survivor Sandra Lee as keynote speaker for the 34th Annual Miami Breast Cancer ... making the announcement, PER® president, Phil Talamo, said, “We are delighted to have ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Today, FloSports , a global ... a new agreement as part of a long-term extension of their media partnership. The ... airing of some of the sport’s premier events exclusively on FloWrestling.com as well as ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... California Southern University has named Dr. ... CalSouthern’s Board of Trustees and as a core faculty member, teaching master’s and doctoral ... professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, where he earned his Doctor of Psychology degree ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... Anybody who may be looking for ... new video released by Serenity Recovery, a holistic treatment center for addiction located in ... features footage and testimonials from patients and staff that visited the 2016 Recovery Palooza ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... -- In a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump ... AARP,s priorities for Americans age 50 and older including ... health care coverage, and lowering the cost of prescription ... President-elect Trump that "Our nearly 38 million members nationwide ... protect their Medicare and Social Security benefits, protect their ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017   Anesthesia ... billing and practice management for the anesthesia and ... marijuana, which remains a "clinical conundrum" (as described ... chronic pain practitioners to think carefully before recommending ... 395-page report by the National Academies of Sciences, ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... NEW YORK , Jan. 17, 2017 ... clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it will ... International Symposium on Acute Leukemias (ISAL) XVI in ... symposium is entitled:  "Reinforcing the Efficacy of Immunotherapy for ... will take place on Monday February 20 th , 2017 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: