Prostate Cancer Vaccines Extend Lives BOSTON, Mass. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- 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. They're not cure-alls, but they could extend the lives of men who were only given a few years. We are not talking about vaccines in the sense of preventing a virus like polio, but we are talking about therapeutic vaccines that treat cancer by revving up the immune system, in some way, to try to fight the cancer, Philip Kantoff, M.D., chief clinical research officer, at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston, Mass., told Ivanhoe. 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. http://ivanhoe.com/channels/p_channelstory.cfm?storyid=24347 The manufacturer of the FDA approved vaccine is charging $93,000 dollars for the treatment. It's covered by insurance, but doctors worry it could raise out of pocket costs for patients. A recent study found nearly 30 percent of cancer patients with $500 or more a year in out of pocket costs stopped filling their prescriptions.