Prostate cancer drug wins US approval

An immune therapy treatment for advanced prostate cancer has been approved by US drug regulators.

Nearly 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the UK (Photograph: SOVEREIGN, ISM/SPL)
Nearly 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the UK (Photograph: SOVEREIGN, ISM/SPL)

New drug Provenge targets metastatic prostate cancer by inducing an immune response against tumour antigens.

The drug won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week after nearly 15 years in development.

Phase III trials involving 737 patients showed the drug extended patient survival by a median of 4.1 months compared to a control group.

Overall, Provenge reduced the risk of death by 22.5% compared to the control group.

Manufacturer Dendreon said the drug represented the first product in a new therapeutic class known as autologous cellular immunotherapies.

Provenge is designed to target the prostate cancer antigen prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), an antigen that is expressed in more than 95% of all prostate cancers.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK. Nearly 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the UK and over 10,000 die from the disease annually.

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