A new prostate cancer treatment method which makes use of the body’s immune system to combat the disease obtained federal approval, providing a significant alternative to other rigorous treatment options such as chemotherapy.
Dendreon Corp.’s Provenge vaccine trains the actual immune system to combat tumors. It can be referred to as a “vaccine” despite the fact that it treats disease instead of preventing it.
Medical doctors have been attempting to create this kind of a treatment for decades, and Provenge is actually the 1st to acquire approval via the Food and Drug Administration.
“The huge announcement here is that this is the very first immunotherapy to gain approval, and also I believe within 5 to 10 years immunotherapies may end up being a huge component of cancer treatment in general,” stated Dr. Phil Kantoff, oncologist with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute which helped manage the research of Provenge.
Experimental vaccines that will treat additional cancers, as well as the lethal skin disease melanoma and also an often deadly childhood tumor known as neuroblastoma, are currently in late-stage creation.
Presently medical professionals deal with cancer by surgically eliminating tumors, targeting them with chemotherapy drug treatments as well as blasting them with radiation.
Provenge provides an important 4th method by directing the body’s natural defensive systems against the disease.
The drug is meant to address prostate cancer which has spread elsewhere within the body and is not necessarily responding to hormone treatment.
A landmark perhaps.
Healthcare professionals praised the approval for being an important landmark; however stressed it may serve as a supplement to present practice, not really a replacement.
“This is merely a single step in a brand new process for dealing with patients,” stated Dr. Simon Hall, chairman of urology with Mt. Sinai Hospital “We all have got to make them recognize this isn’t really a cure, it is very variable.”
Corporation research demonstrated that using Provenge added 4 months to the lives of males with advanced prostate cancer. Which might not seem like a lot, however it is lengthier compared to the 3 months given by Taxotere, the only chemotherapy authorized for males in this scenario. Medical doctors wish for even increased benefit if they offer the drug sooner in the course of the illness.
Dendreon could offer no price estimation for Provenge, however expert estimations range from in between $60,000 to $100,000.
The approval signifies an impressive turnaround for Seattle based Dendreon, whose shares dropped 3 years ago when the FDA postponed a determination on the treatment, requesting for more evidence of safety and effectiveness. That hold up came in spite of an expert panel’s advice for approval.
Dendreon shares leaped nineteen percent to new levels in advance of the news, increasing to an all-time high of $47.33. Trading of the stock had been stopped at 12:35 p.m. Eastern, thirty five minutes just before the FDA released its decision. At that time, Dendreon shares had been up $5.89, or 14.9 percent, at $45.52.
The corporation does not have virtually any products on the marketplace.
Analysts anticipate the product to achieve blockbuster product sales position, over $1 billion, by 2016, as the corporation grows manufacturing capacity.
Every regimen of Provenge should be customized to the immune system involving the individual using a time consuming formula.
Medical doctors gather specific blood cells from every individual that help the immune system identify cancer as a danger. The actual cells are combined with a protein located on the majority of prostate cancer cells and also an additional substance to rev up the immune system. The resulting “vaccine” is provided back to the individual as 3 infusions 2 weeks apart.
In the beginning, Dendreon will specify Provenge patients by means of the medical facilities that assisted test the drug. However research workers have been informed the company will only be capable to offer vaccines for a handful of sufferers at each site per month.
“Generally there are going to be plenty of individuals that would like it and there may be minimal resources as they are getting this launched and established,” stated Dr. Deborah Bradley with Duke University School of Medicine.
Around 193,000 new cases of prostate cancer have been diagnosed in 2009, and 27,000 males died of the condition, as per to the FDA. Prostate cancer most frequently impacts older males.
Side effects of Provenge tend to be fairly slight, for example chills, low energy, a fever, as well as headaches. In comparison, side effects associated with chemotherapy generally consist of hair loss, queasiness, anemia and also diarrhea.