According to an article in Xconomy, Larry Corey, president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer and Research Center in Seattle, chooses vaccines as providing some of the top innovations in healthcare in 2010.
Specifically, Corey tabs Dendreon's innovative Provenge vaccine for the treatment of prostate cancer. This is the first product of its type to make it through the FDA gauntlet. It provides the proof that immunotherapy is a viable approach to cancer treatment and likely will open the door to other such treatments in the near future.
Corey also singles out GSK's human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for recognition. It established the link between infectious disease and some cancers and highlights the success of a vaccine in preventing the disease from ever developing. GSK's vaccine also includes the first novel adjuvant (immune response booster) to be used in the USA in more than 30 years. This can also be expected to usher in a new wave of more effective adjuvants to be applied to other cancer vaccines in particular.
The resurgence of vaccines is a welcomed story. Vaccines of course are designed to prevent disease and not treat it after the fact. It is further welcomed by me to see vaccines singled out in a very positive light given the sordid history of the anti-vaccine movement in associating these life saving treatments with a host of side effects and diseases that are based solely on innuendo and pseudo science (autism). Let's see the clinical trial results and then results on follow up in the field to base our conclusions on efficacy on.
Posted by Bruce Lehr December 29th 2010.