1 May 2010

New treatment approved for advanced prostate cancer

4:28 pm on 1 May 2010

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for advanced prostate cancer that uses a patient's own immune system.

The therapy, called Provenge, offers an alternative to chemotherapy or surgery. It is the first of its kind to be accepted by the agency.

The BBC reports each dose has to be individually tailored and it is an expensive treatment at $US93,000 per patient. It will add to, rather than replace, existing treatments.

Clinical trials showed that the treatment extended the lives of patients by four months. This compares with an average of three months with chemotherapy.