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NEWS
July 2, 2011 | By Tami Dennis, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Widespread screening with CT scans can detect lung cancer. Regular mammograms of all women 40 and older can find breast cancer. Avastin, at $8,000 a month, has helped some patients with advanced breast cancer.  And the prostate cancer drug Provenge, at $93,000 per patient, can extend survival by about four months. Such were the headlines this week. But this made headlines too: Healthcare spending in the U.S. outpaces all other industrialized countries, amounting to 17.5% of our economic output.
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NEWS
July 2, 2011 | By Tami Dennis, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Widespread screening with CT scans can detect lung cancer. Regular mammograms of all women 40 and older can find breast cancer. Avastin, at $8,000 a month, has helped some patients with advanced breast cancer.  And the prostate cancer drug Provenge, at $93,000 per patient, can extend survival by about four months. Such were the headlines this week. But this made headlines too: Healthcare spending in the U.S. outpaces all other industrialized countries, amounting to 17.5% of our economic output.
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NEWS
November 18, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles times
A Medicare review committee on Wednesday expressed lukewarm support for the prostate cancer drug Provenge, suggesting that the agency is likely to implement an agency-wide approval to pay for use of the drug for treating prostate cancer but will reject off-label uses. Provenge is the first anti-cancer vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration and has been shown to extend the life of prostate cancer victims by a median of 4.1 months, more than twice as long as chemotherapy, and to increase three-year survival by 38%. But that improvement comes at a steep price -- $93,000.
NEWS
July 1, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Medicare said this week it will pay for two cancer treatments with hefty price tags -- and lingering questions: Avastin, the controversial drug shot down by an Food and Drug Administration panel on Wednesday for its use against advanced breast cancer, and Provenge, a treatment for advanced prostate cancer.  Even though an FDA panel said that Avastin wasn’t safe or beneficial enough in clinical trials, doctors can still prescribe it and...
NEWS
July 1, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Medicare is hemorrhaging money . And yet in the last few days, the program has decided to cover two mega-pricey medications with questionable benefits: Avastin for advanced breast cancer and Provenge for advanced prostate cancer. And those are just two examples. The roster of Medicare-covered drugs includes many treatments with big price tags but meager payoffs. Footing the bill for these drugs might seem like the compassionate thing to do. After all, not many patients could afford the roughly $100,000 for a year's worth of Avastin or the $93,000 for a full course of Provenge.
SCIENCE
April 18, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
A prostate cancer vaccine produced by Dendreon Corp. of Seattle significantly improves survival, the company said Tuesday without releasing further details of the trial. The trial was designed to detect a minimum 22% increase in survival, and experts speculate it did at least that well. If the findings are upheld, the vaccine, called Provenge, could be the first cancer vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Provenge is a so-called therapeutic vaccine designed to treat the disease.
SCIENCE
April 29, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new immune-boosting therapy for prostate cancer on Thursday, the first therapeutic vaccine for cancer ever approved by the agency. The approval opens the door to a whole new approach to cancer therapy, adding a unique weapon to the arsenal of oncologists. The vaccine, Provenge, has been shown to extend survival in patients with advanced prostate cancer by four months, more than twice as long as chemotherapy, and to increase three-year survival by 38%. "A lot of people have been working in labs, biotechs and pharma companies looking for a proof of principle" that immunotherapy works against cancer, said Dr. David I. Quinn, medical director of the USC Norris Cancer Hospital.
HEALTH
July 6, 2009 | By Jill U. Adams, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
It's a deceptively simple idea: What if doctors could recruit the body's own immune system to fight cancer? The complexities of the immune system have kept this from becoming reality, until now. Three cancer vaccines -- for prostate cancer, melanoma and lymphoma -- have achieved positive results in so-called Phase 3 clinical trials -- the kind of studies that the Food and Drug Administration requires for a medicine to gain approval. At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology held May 29 to June 2, researchers reported that a vaccine against follicular lymphoma, called BiovaxID, delayed remission after chemotherapy by more than one year, on average.
NEWS
July 1, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Medicare said this week it will pay for two cancer treatments with hefty price tags -- and lingering questions: Avastin, the controversial drug shot down by an Food and Drug Administration panel on Wednesday for its use against advanced breast cancer, and Provenge, a treatment for advanced prostate cancer.  Even though an FDA panel said that Avastin wasn’t safe or beneficial enough in clinical trials, doctors can still prescribe it and...
SCIENCE
April 29, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A controversial prostate cancer vaccine that previously had been rejected by the Food and Drug Administration improves survival of patients with the advanced form of the disease more than existing treatments and should be brought to market, researchers said Tuesday.
NEWS
July 1, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Medicare is hemorrhaging money . And yet in the last few days, the program has decided to cover two mega-pricey medications with questionable benefits: Avastin for advanced breast cancer and Provenge for advanced prostate cancer. And those are just two examples. The roster of Medicare-covered drugs includes many treatments with big price tags but meager payoffs. Footing the bill for these drugs might seem like the compassionate thing to do. After all, not many patients could afford the roughly $100,000 for a year's worth of Avastin or the $93,000 for a full course of Provenge.
NEWS
November 18, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles times
A Medicare review committee on Wednesday expressed lukewarm support for the prostate cancer drug Provenge, suggesting that the agency is likely to implement an agency-wide approval to pay for use of the drug for treating prostate cancer but will reject off-label uses. Provenge is the first anti-cancer vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration and has been shown to extend the life of prostate cancer victims by a median of 4.1 months, more than twice as long as chemotherapy, and to increase three-year survival by 38%. But that improvement comes at a steep price -- $93,000.
SCIENCE
April 29, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new immune-boosting therapy for prostate cancer on Thursday, the first therapeutic vaccine for cancer ever approved by the agency. The approval opens the door to a whole new approach to cancer therapy, adding a unique weapon to the arsenal of oncologists. The vaccine, Provenge, has been shown to extend survival in patients with advanced prostate cancer by four months, more than twice as long as chemotherapy, and to increase three-year survival by 38%. "A lot of people have been working in labs, biotechs and pharma companies looking for a proof of principle" that immunotherapy works against cancer, said Dr. David I. Quinn, medical director of the USC Norris Cancer Hospital.
HEALTH
July 6, 2009 | By Jill U. Adams, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
It's a deceptively simple idea: What if doctors could recruit the body's own immune system to fight cancer? The complexities of the immune system have kept this from becoming reality, until now. Three cancer vaccines -- for prostate cancer, melanoma and lymphoma -- have achieved positive results in so-called Phase 3 clinical trials -- the kind of studies that the Food and Drug Administration requires for a medicine to gain approval. At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology held May 29 to June 2, researchers reported that a vaccine against follicular lymphoma, called BiovaxID, delayed remission after chemotherapy by more than one year, on average.
SCIENCE
April 29, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A controversial prostate cancer vaccine that previously had been rejected by the Food and Drug Administration improves survival of patients with the advanced form of the disease more than existing treatments and should be brought to market, researchers said Tuesday.
SCIENCE
April 18, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
A prostate cancer vaccine produced by Dendreon Corp. of Seattle significantly improves survival, the company said Tuesday without releasing further details of the trial. The trial was designed to detect a minimum 22% increase in survival, and experts speculate it did at least that well. If the findings are upheld, the vaccine, called Provenge, could be the first cancer vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Provenge is a so-called therapeutic vaccine designed to treat the disease.
NATIONAL
March 30, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Federal health advisors have endorsed an experimental vaccine to treat advanced prostate cancer as safe and effective. The Food and Drug Administration advisors voted unanimously to say Provenge is safe. They then voted 13 to 4 to say there was substantial evidence it works in treating advanced prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone treatment. The FDA isn't required to follow the advice of its advisory committees, but it usually does.
NATIONAL
February 17, 2005 | From Associated Press
Doctors are reporting their first success at improving survival among men with advanced prostate cancer by using a treatment that trains the immune system to fight tumors. The approach is called a cancer vaccine, although unlike traditional vaccines, it treats disease rather than prevents it. In a study of 127 men with advanced prostate cancer, those who got the vaccine lived an average of 4 1/2 months longer than those who were given placebo treatments.
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