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Provenge, a prostate cancer drug developed by Dendreon Corporation, reportedly increased the survival rate of men with late-stage prostate cancer.
Details of the trial will be presented on April 28, at the American Urological Association's Annual Meeting in Chicago. Dendreon will submit Provenge to the FDA later this year, and if approved the drug will become the first therapeutic cancer vaccine (immunotherapy) approved in the US. Provenge was almost approved two years ago, according to an article in the New York Times, but the FDA panel ultimately asked for more data, resulting in the current trial.
"The successful outcome from the Phase III IMPACT study provides validation of the long-pursued goal of harnessing the human immune system against a patient's own cancer," said Dr. Mitchell H. Gold, president and chief executive officer of Dendreon.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the US, with more than one million men in the country having the disease. The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2008 there were 186,320 new cases and approximately 28,660 men who died from prostate cancer.
As with most cancers, detecting prostate cancer when it is an earlier stage usually leads to more treatment options with better outcomes. The American Cancer Society recommends men take an informed and proactive course in deciding when they should take a PSA test or digital rectal exam.
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