Bellicum’s prostate-cancer vaccine: Dendritic cells served with a genetic twist

For a few brief months earlier this year, Dendreon’s Provenge looked like it might become the first cancer vaccine approved by the FDA, despite some iffy data supporting its effectiveness. The fate of Provenge now hangs in the balance following the FDA’s controversial decision to ask for additional data. But that hasn’t stopped Bellicum Pharmaceuticals from trying to improve on the work of its forbear.

Patients, CEOs and ideologues vs. evidence-based medicine

The first time you hear it, “evidence-based medicine” sounds like one of those goofily redundant phrases like “animated cartoon” or “past experience.” Aren’t doctors always carrying out studies of one sort or another? Isn’t medicine evidence-based already?

No immunity for Dendreon’s cancer vaccine

(UPDATED: See below.) For almost two months, it has seemed that the FDA might be ready to approve an entirely new attack on cancer — a “cancer vaccine” that immunizes patients with tumor fragments in order to activate the body’s immune defenses against cancerous cells.