At the prostate cancer symposium in Orlando, co-sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Eric J. Small, MD, UCSF professor of medicine and urology presented the findings of the study he led helped by other 19 US institutions, regarding an effective treatment for prostate cancer. |
The study was made on patients with asymptomatic metastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) and was designed for observing if the disease progression will be delayed and patients will survive longer.
Scientists said that the rate of survival increased by four and a half months in those who were administered the cancer vaccine compared with those who got the placebo.
The vaccine was well tolerated by patients and the side effects were mild: fever and chills. This is good news because chemotherapy gives a lot of unbearable side effects.
Scientists did not find out for how long the treatment will hold the cancer in check, but Jamie Bearse of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition said that as long as there are so few options regarding treating prostate cancer, this is quite an encouraging result and hope still exists.
In US, prostate cancer is quite common and more than 200,000 new cases are discovered every year. Most of the patients can follow a treatment based on surgery, radiation and hormone therapy, but asymptomatic metastatic HRPC is known to be resistant to hormone therapy and every year more than 30,000 men die because and no other treatment is effective against the disease.
Philip Kantoff of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston was delighted to hear about the discovery but said that the findings need to be confirmed.
In order to do so, Dendreon Corp. of Seattle (the developer of the vaccine) has begun another study on 98 men with advanced prostate cancer and so far the results seem to be confirming the discovery, said Mitchell H. Gold, the company's president and chief executive. If in the end the results are promising, the company could ask for the approval of the FDA. The company wants to see the treatment’s effects on patients with earlier stages of prostate cancer too, declared Mitchell Gold.
This vaccine does not shrink the tumor yet, but as long as it generates a good enough immune response it can be very useful to patients. This trial was an important one because it opened the way to other treatments regarding prostate cancer.
For more information about prostate cancer diagnosis and about prostate cancer prevention please review this web site http://www.prostate-cancer-center.com
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