A cancer drug that's the first to harness the body's immune system to destroy tumors got a thumbs-up from the FDA's advisory panel, the New York Times reports. If approved, Provenge, a prostate cancer treatment, would be the first of the "cancer vaccines"—experimental therapies that commandeer a patient's own white blood cells to fight tumors—to hit the market.
Provenge's success bucks the field's record of “disappointment and controversy,” notes a researcher, though it may not prove to be a home run. While it prolonged patients lives an average of 4.5 months, it didn't eradicate tumors. It could be approved by the FDA as early as May.