ANCHOR LEAD: THE FDA HAS APPROVED A VACCINE AGAINST PROSTATE CANCER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Provenge is the rather provocative name of a prostate cancer vaccine just approved by the FDA. The vaccine aims to harness the power of the patient’s own immune system to fight an established prostate cancer, not to prevent disease as most vaccines do. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says although the numbers for Provenge are not impressive, the proof of concept is.
NELSON: This is a first effort. On the heels of this are all kinds of new immunotherapies. I think we’re ready for a real renaissance in the use of these kinds of treatments. To have that first one work it’s way to FDA approval will provide the incentives to the pharmaceutical industry, scientists and patients to collaborate together to get some of these new treatments developed, tested and pick the ones that are the best. :25
Nelson expects to see many more therapies utilizing the body’s internal abilities to fight diseases, including cancer, very shortly. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.