Vaccines for prostate cancer
20 June 2011
A range of sources reported this story from Nature Medicine about the use of immunotherapy to treat prostate cancer. In immunotherapy, a specific virus is introduced to the system which attacks the prostate cancer cells.
This study shows promising results in mice with prostate cancer, particularly as the virus is highly selective in attacking prostate cancer cells but not healthy ones. Clearly, there is a long way to go before we see these particular treatments in humans, but this is an important step.
Update, 26th July 2011
Our thanks to the newsletter reader who pointed out that a form of immunotherapy known as Provenge has already been approved for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. There is a detailed review of its effectiveness on the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Treatments in Health (CADTH) website.
Find out more
- Read the abstract of the original research in Nature: Kottke T, Errington F et al. Broad antigenic coverage induced by vaccination with virus-based cDNA libraries cures established tumors. Nature Medicine, published online on 19th June 2011
- Comments from NHS Choices, Cancer Research UK and The Prostate Cancer Charity
- More about research into immunotherapy UK Prostate Link
Page last edited: 02 October 2011