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Until it shows wider promise, enthusiasm will be tepid, said Dr. Elizabeth Plimack a prostate specialist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

“I’ve not had any patient ask for it,” she said. “They ask about it. Based on the information, they think the cost is tremendous, and they think the benefit is very small.”

Logothetis, at M.D. Anderson, said Provenge and other experimental cancer vaccines in development need “a national investment” to sort out their potential, starting with Medicare coverage.

“It’s no longer a fringe science. This is working,” he said. “We need to get it in the door so we can evolve it.”

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Online:

Where to get help:

_Genentech: http://www.GenentechAccessSolutions.com

_Novartis: http://www.patientassistancenow.com

_Patient Advocate Foundation, 800-532-5274 http://www.patientadvocate.org

_CancerCare, 866-552-6729 http://www.cancercarecopay.org

_Chronic Disease Fund, 877-968-7233 http://www.cdfund.org

_Healthwell Foundation, 800-675-8416 http://www.healthwellfoundation.org

_Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 877-557-2672 http://www.LLS.org/copay

_National Organization for Rare Disorders 800-999-6673 http://www.rarediseases.org

Story Continues →