The PM prostate cancer news: Wednesday, July 23

In additional news breaking today:

  • Dendreon Corp. is predicting interim results of the IMPACT study of Provenge in metastatic, androgen-independent prostate cancer by October 2008
  • The FDA has refused to approve an experimental, topical treatment for erectile dysfunction … MORE …

World’s first “cancer vaccine” approved … in Russia?

So this won’t be that important to most prostate cancer patients, but it is worth noticing that the world’s first cancer immunotherapeutic agent (vitespen or Oncophage®) got approved yesterday — in Russia, for the treatmment of kidney cancer. Hopefully it is a sign of the times. Oncophage is made by an American company, Antigenics, based in New York. It should give Dendreon and others hope for the future.

And an aside … The term “cancer vaccine” can be  very misleading. This term appears to imply that a product prevents a specific cancer from making you sick (like a chickenpox vaccine or an influenza vaccine). However, the vast majority of cancer immunotherapeutics (a term we prefer) work by stopping (or at least delaying the progression of) specific cancers after they have first occurred.