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Biotech Makes Cancer Breakthrough, Yet Stock Plunges

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Cautious excitement is brewing among doctors. They think we may be on the edge of a major break through in the way some cancers are treated.

On Tuesday, biotech firm Dendreon presented data that showed an experimental drugged called Provenge added four months to the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer.

But perhaps more important, the study involves an entirely new approach to fighting this dreaded disease, doctors reported Tuesday.

Unlike current treatments which involve hormone therapy, Provenge is able to trigger a response in the body’s own immune system – so the immune system itself fights the tumors. That’s significant because this is the first study that provides real clinical validation that cancer can be fought by stimulating the body's immune system.

Doctors have been trying to develop such a therapy for decades, and this is the first to meet a preset goal for improving survival in late-stage testing.

Ironically, despite these strong results, shares of Dendreon fell off a cliff on Tuesday.

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The Fast Money traders all found the reaction quite strange. However, it’s worth noting that stock had soared about 250% ahead of the data. Nobody could come up with a good explanation as to why.

Results were reported Tuesday at an American Urological Association conference in Chicago.


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Trader disclosure: On Apr. 28th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Finerman's Firm Owns (AXP), (RIG), (UNH), (TBT); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns (C) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns(MSFT) & (MSFT) Put Spread; Finerman’s Firm Is Short (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (USO); Najarian Owns (BX) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (BP); Najarian Owns (DNDN) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (MS); Najarian Owns (PALM); Najarian Owns (RHT) Calls; Najarian Owns (RIO) Calls; Najarian Owns (XHB) Cal Spread; Najarian Owns (XLB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (ORCL) Call Spread; Seymour Owns ( AAPL), (BAC), (EEM), (FXI), (PBR); Seymour Is Short (X)


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