New treatment helps those after cancer has spread

    8:44 PM, Aug 1, 2011   |    comments
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    UNDATED (KTHV) -- When it comes to prostate cancer, there's a new treatment that makes men's own immune system act like a poweful super-drug. 

    At the Tulane Cancer Center in Louisiana, researchers are trying a new way of fighting prostate cancer. It involves turning the patient's own immune system into a prostate cancer killing drug of sorts.

    64-year old Dennis Daray was diagnosed with prostate cancer in his 50's. He has no family history. He now faces cancer that's spread to his bones.

    The treatment he's receiving at Tulane involves taking his immune cells from his blood. They were sent to a lab, where they were put in a brew of stimulants and molecules were added that are powerful stimulators. The cells are vaccinated and become super charged fighter cells. The cells are infused back into Dennis' body.

    Tulane Medical Center physician Dr. Oliver Sartor says, "The interesting thing is they can really jazz up these cells they can really jazz up teh immune system in the test tube more so than they can do in your body and that's the cool thing about this therapy."

    They call it cutting edge and studies show, if this works it could make a big difference in his life.  Dr. Sartor continues, "The thing that's really different about this particular therapy, it's been shown in large prospective trials to be able to prolong survival and that's critical...People live longer with prostate cancer, which is pretty amazing."

    Dennis will find out in a few weeks if the provenge immunotherapy made a difference. This new treatment is for men whose prostate cancer has spread and have few or no symptoms. You must have already hormonal treatment that didn't stop the cancer from growing.

    Insurance and medicare have approved payment for this treatment.


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