The First Prostate Cancer Vaccine has been produced in India, by India's renowned oncologist, Anupama Hooda Nehra.
It is reported that the vaccine is called Provenge, and is now at the helm in the fight against prostate cancer.
Provenge was approved in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer patients, and was developed by the Dendreaon Corporation, at the end of April 2010. It is the first FDA approved drug in its class.
The vaccine is shown to have extended the life of Prostate cancer patient by approximately 4.1 months in comparison with controls subjects who weren't given the vaccine.
The vaccine is made by removing some of a patient's white blood cells and sending them to a lab, where they are activated by exposing them to a protein found on prostate cancer cells. The cells are then given back to the patient about 3 days later, in a process similar to a blood transfusion. This is done 3 times, with about 2 weeks in between each dose.
In adult males, prostate cancer is the most common cancer (after skin cancer) and the second most common cause of death due to cancer.
Because of the advancements in the prostate cancer vaccine, scientists are now working on similar vaccines for cancers of the breast, lung, skin and lymph nodes.
Currently, prostate cancer is treated conventionally using radiation, surgery to remove the gland, drugs to reduce levels of the hormone testosterone that feeds the tumours, and lastly, the chemotherapy drug Taxotere, which extends the lives of patients by two months.
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