Uses of Prostate Cancer Vaccines

How are prostate cancer vaccines used?

prostate cancer vaccinesYou may have heard of news of vaccines that have been developed for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer vaccines are not used in the same manner as the type of vaccines most people are used to. Most vaccines are given to disease free patients in order to keep those patients from getting a certain disease. Prostate cancer vaccines, such as Provenge, are used for advanced stages of the disease in order to slow down cancer progression and not for disease prevention. Dr. Farshid Dayyani discusses the types of prostate cancer vaccines and their uses in this short video. There is no vaccine to prevent healthy men from developing prostate cancer.

If you’d like to find some ways to reduce your risk for prostate cancer watch our previously published video “Can I Prevent Prostate Cancer?” and follow Dr. Ronald Tutrone’s advice. He tells his patients,”whatever is heart healthy is prostate healthy.” Dr. Tutrone advises taking one baby aspirin a day to help prevent prostate cancer, but please ask your doctor prior to taking any medication.

Farshid Dayyani, MD: Many men want to be proactive and ask me if there is a prostate cancer vaccine that might protect them from developing prostate cancer. Vaccines are usually thought of as agents that prevent the development of disease, but in prostate cancer research, our efforts have been to develop vaccines to slow down the disease progression in more advanced disease stages. As a matter of fact, Provenge is the first ever FDA approved vaccine for a solid tumor and it was approved for advanced prostate cancer that is not responsive to hormone therapy anymore.

There are other vaccines that are in late stage clinical trials currently for prostate cancers, but again those are geared more towards advanced prostate cancer. So far, there is no proven vaccine in men without prostate cancer that would prevent the disease from developing.

Farshid Dayyani
Dr. Dayyani earned his medical degree in Munich, Germany at Ludwig-Maximilians Universitaet before completing his internal medicine internship and residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.
Farshid Dayyani

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