Part 1 of 2: Prostate Cancer Vaccine
The first FDA-approved vaccine to treat prostate cancer is now available to patients. A second one is also in development. Doctors say the vaccines are changing the way they treat cancer. As Robyn Haines reports, they're not cure-alls, but they could extend the lives of men only given a few years to live. Doctors diagnosed Bud Doherty with advanced prostate cancer. He endured surgery and radiation, then enrolled in a trial testing a new vaccine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It doesn't prevent or cure cancer, but it is extending lives. In three-year study, 30-percent of patients who got the vaccine were alive, versus 17 percent who got a placebo shot. A second prostate cancer vaccine, made from a patient's own cells, is now FDA-approved. It improved three-year survival by 38-percent. Doctors say that's a significant benefit for men with such advanced disease — who traditionally live less than two years. Side effects can include fevers, chills and nausea. The manufacturer of the FDA-approved vaccine is charging $93,000 for the treatment. It's covered by insurance, but doctors worry it could raise out-of-pocket costs for patients.