Since in US, more than 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer are discovered every year a more effective treatment was desperately needed. |
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.
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.
For the patients this is great news because it gives them hope that an even better vaccine could be discovered. This vaccine is not like the others that are designed to prevent a disease. This is made to treat advanced prostate cancer by increasing the immune system’s response to cancer cells.
The vaccine was well tolerated by patients and the side effects were mild: fever and chills. This is good news because chemotherapy and radiation gives a lot of unbearable side effects.
Small included in the study 127 patients suffering of asymptomatic metastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). 82 of them received the vaccine and 45 got placebo. They were administered three shots over six weeks. The treatment continued three years.
For those treated with the vaccine, the median rate of survival was 25.9 months. For those who got a placebo treatment, the overall of survival was 21.4 months. The conclusions were that 115 patients of this group had progressive disease at the time of data analysis and all patients were followed for survival for 3 years.
Scientists do not know if the vaccine will work on patients suffering of early-stage prostate cancer and of explosive terminal cancer. The vaccine, called Provenge, does not cure cancer but at least it slows it down.
Other cancer vaccines are being developed for treating: leukemia, breast cancer, colon cancer, and kidney and pancreas cancer as well.
The human body is not able to recognize the cancer cells and that is why it can not fight them without help. The vaccine is designed to alert the body is cancerous cells are present. Provenge has been made out of a genetically engineered protein and a dendritic cell provided from the patient’s bloodstream. After getting the vaccine shots, the immune system will react and will activate immune T-cells to find and destroy the cancer cells.
This discovery is important not only for those who suffer of the disease but also for the field. This vaccine confirms what everybody denied, that vaccines can really work.
For more information about prostate cancer and about prostate cancer treatment please review this web site http://www.prostate-cancer-center.com
Related Articles -
prostate cancer, prostate cancer treatment,