Cancer Vaccine Moves Closer to FDA Approval

With the news of Dendreon Corporation's announcement yesterday at the annual meeting in Chicago of the American Urological Association that its investigational active cellular immunotherapy for advanced prostate cancer, PROVENGE (sipuleucel-T), extended patient survival by 4.1 months and increased 3-year survival by 38 percent compared to placebo, the field of tumor immunology has taken a significant leap forward as this, the first active cellular immunotherapy shown in a phase III clinical trial to benefit patients, moves closer to FDA approval.

According to experts in the field of tumor immunology, this is an important milestone achievement--within the scope of the history of tumor immunology and the decades of effort to bring effective cancer immunotherapies to patients, the impact of PROVENGE specifically on prostate cancer therapy today, and the broader import this has and as it bears on cancer vaccine discovery and development efforts currently underway within academic and industry domains.

The Cancer Research Institute, a non-profit organization the supports and coordinates laboratory and clinical efforts leading to the immunological treatment, control, and prevention of cancer, is a global leader in cancer vaccine development. The CRI/LICR Cancer Vaccine Collaborative--a centralized network of more than 20 top academic clinical trial sites with immunological monitoring capability engaged in single-variable, first-in-man cancer vaccine studies, formed in partnership with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd--and its Cancer Vaccine Consortium--a membership association of more than 60 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and academic institutions who share a common goal of making cancer vaccines part of the standard-of-care for cancer patients--together comprise the world's leading experts in cancer vaccine discovery and development from both academia and industry.

Cancer Research Institute can provide expert commentary on the importance of the PROVENGE study results and what they mean for the field of tumor immunology, for cancer patients, and for the future of cancer therapy, as well as key challenges still facing the field, including vaccine reagent access, intellectual property concerns, regulatory issues, protocol design, RECIST criteria, and strategies that work to bridge the divide between academic and industry interests.

Suggested Expert:

Lloyd J. Old, M.D.

Lloyd J. Old, M.D., is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd. Previously, he was director and chief executive officer of the Ludwig Institute. He has been associated with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center since 1958, first as a research fellow. He was appointed associate director of research in 1973 of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases and was named the William E. Snee Chair of Cancer Immunology in 1983.

Lloyd J. Old, M.D., is one of the pioneers in tumor immunology, having made some of the most important contributions to that field from both the lab bench and the board room table. He is one of the most highly cited researchers in the field, and is an international award-winning scientific luminary who has helped to forge alliances among academic and industry interests in order to accelerate the scientifically prudent advancement of cancer vaccines.

For a more detailed biography of Dr. Old, visit:
http://www.cancerresearch.org/board/Lloyd-Old.html

For a description of Dr. Old's key scientific contributions, visit:
http://www.cancerresearch.org/Programs.aspx?id=2290

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