'Tales of the Sissy' is a play on words related to Armistead Maupin's novel 'Tales of the City' which chronicles the daily lives of several seemingly unrelated people. Since my blog chronicles my daily life and I am gay (hence the stereotype 'sissy'), I decided to call my blog 'Tales of the Sissy'.
A vaccine treatment for prostate cancer has become the first therapy of its kind to win approval for use in U.S. patients.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Provenge, a novel technique for fighting prostate cancer, on Thursday. The treatment involves taking a patient's own white blood cells and using a drug that trains them to more actively attack cancer cells.
"It's a landmark in the sense that it would be the first approved cell-based immune therapy," said Dr. Nina Bhardwaj, director of the tumor vaccine program at New York University Langone Medical Center, who is not involved with Provenge or its maker, Dendreon Corp.
"It's a major conceptual advance; it's a modest therapeutic advance," said Dr. Christopher Logothetis, prostate cancer researcher at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Logothetis testified to an FDA panel in 2007 about the drug, but has no financial ties to Dendreon.
"This is a significant improvement in survival, and is more significant in that it is a new way of treating prostate cancer," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, in an e-mail.
Because the treatment makes use of the patient's own cells, it does not cause the severe side effects seen in chemotherapy, Penson said. The main side effects seen for Provenge were flu-like symptoms, such as chills and fever, lasting one to two days.