Navigation Links
Prostate Cancer Vaccine Gains FDA Approval
Date:4/29/2010

Breakthrough approach lengthens survival, to varying degrees, for men with advanced disease, studies found,,

THURSDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday granted approval to Provenge, a therapeutic vaccine aimed at preventing the spread of prostate cancer in men with an advanced form of the disease.

The new approval is limited to "the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is resistant to standard hormone treatment," the FDA said.

"The availability of Provenge provides a new treatment option for men with advanced prostate cancer, who currently have limited effective therapies available," Dr. Karen Midthun, acting director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release.

Experts say the drug's approval could be a milestone against the disease and cancer in general.

Provenge appears to extend survival in men with advanced prostate cancer, and it does so without the serious side effects associated with chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy.

"It is certainly exciting to see a drug that has made it this far," Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said earlier this week.

The vaccine is not aimed at preventing prostate cancer in men who have not developed the disease, and it is far from a cure for those who have it, Lichtenfeld stressed. "Provenge represents a modest advance in survival for patients with advanced prostate cancer, but the drug doesn't delay the progression of the disease," he said.

Still, it might prove possible to use Provenge in the earlier stages of prostate cancer, where it might be even more effective, Lichtenfeld said. "The hope is if a vaccine is effective in late-stage disease that it is going to be even more effective in the earlier treatment of that same disease," he said.

But that benefit would have to be shown in clinical trials, Lichtenfeld said. "It will represent a new treatment option. It will have a modest impact on prostate cancer survival, but it's small changes in treatments over time that add up to a major improvement. So I wouldn't be discouraged by what is a small increment in survival."

Provenge is a therapeutic (not preventative) vaccine that is 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 cause an immune response, which in turn kills cancer cells, while leaving normal cells unharmed.

According to the FDA, Provenge is given intravenously in a three-dose schedule delivered in two-week intervals.

The vaccine was developed by Seattle-based Dendreon Corp., which conducted initial studies among men with advanced prostate cancer who had already failed standard hormone treatment. Among these men, Provenge extended life by an average of 4.5 months, although some patients saw their lives extended by two to three years. The only side effects were mild flu-like symptoms, according to the study results.

The FDA noted that in one study, men taking Provenge had a slightly higher risk for cerebrovascular events, such as stroke, with 3.5 percent of those taking Provenge suffering such events versus 2.6 percent of those who did not take the drug.

In 2007, an FDA advisory panel recommended that the agency approve Provenge, but at the time the FDA said more data was needed before it would approve the drug.

Dr. Mark Soloway, professor and chair of urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that "we certainly need the opportunity for our patients to have alternatives."

The big question, according to Soloway, is when do you use Provenge? Whether it should be used before chemotherapy or hormone therapy isn't clear, he said.

"There are problems with Provenge," Soloway said. "One is that it's very cumbersome, because patients have to provide their white cells, and I think that's on a regular basis. And two, it's likely to be very expensive." Costs are expected to total $75,000 for the full regimen, experts say.

Soloway agreed that Provenge might also be useful in earlier-stage prostate cancer, but studies are needed to prove that.

However, "once it's approved, it's on the market, and with proper informed consent you can use it for localized [early stage] prostate cancer. Whether insurance companies will pay for it is also not known," Soloway said.

Other new drugs to treat prostate cancer, such as Abiraterone, which prevents the production of the male hormone testosterone, are on the horizon and will compete with Provenge for new treatment regimens, he added.

According to American Cancer Society estimates, more than 192,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, and 27,360 men die from the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in American men, after skin cancer. More than 2 million American men who have had prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. The death rate is going down, and the disease is being found earlier, according to the cancer society.

More information

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



SOURCES: J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Mark Soloway, M.D., professor and chair of urology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; April 29, 2010, news release, U.S. Food and Drug Administration


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

Related medicine news :

1. Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Raises Suicide Risk
2. Immediate risk of suicide and cardiovascular death after a prostate cancer diagnosis
3. Loss of gene function makes prostate cancer cells more aggressive
4. Experts Issue Warning on Prostate Hormone Therapy
5. Biochemical profile may help diagnose, determine aggressiveness of prostate cancer
6. New Scan May Help Find Aggressive Prostate Tumors
7. Vaccine approach extends life of metastatic prostate cancer patients
8. Prostate Cancer Care Varies By Hospital Type
9. Study confirms prostate cancer is treated differently at county vs. private hospitals
10. Beer Ingredient Eyed in Prostate Cancer Prevention
11. Race, Weight May Influence Success of Prostate Surgery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their ... Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... Pro X users can now reveal the media of their split screens with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the ... are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever ... Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation ... as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs ... College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. ... treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ... Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with ... ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz ... under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 ... GBT ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics ... significant unmet needs, today announced the closing of ... shares of common stock, at the public offering ... shares in the offering were offered by GBT. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... develops, markets and sells medical devices and wearable sleep ... a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management ... on June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet ... agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: