By Karin McCay| email
Edited by Kristin Beerman | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The Food and Drug Administration has approved a prostate cancer vaccine designed to attack the disease using a man's own immune system. The vaccine, called Provenge, combines a patient's immune system cells with a protein found in most prostate cancers. Once injected into the body, the cells are trained to attack the cancer. A study of over 500 patients found those given the vaccine lived four months longer than those not given the vaccine.
"It's exciting because this vaccine or immunotherapy works in a totally different way and compliments the existing therapies that we have," said Andrew Armstrong, M.D., with Duke University Medical Center.
Scientists are hopeful that if someday this treatment can be give early in the disease. Survival could be even greater, but so far, Provenge is only approved for use in patients with advanced prostate cancer, who have not responded to chemotherapy or hormonal treatments.
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