Shares of two biotech companies, Dendreon ( DNDN) and Antigenics ( AGEN), were rocketing higher in premarket trading Friday after the companies were mentioned in a published report discussing their work on a potential cancer vaccine.

The Wall Street Journal published a story discussing the positive aspects of dendritic-cell therapy in fighting cancer.

According to the report, some successes have been noted in clinical trials and the therapy has been effective in some patients. Specifically, the Journal indicated that several cancer patients in a Stanford University program have seen positive results from dendritic-cell treatment.

Dendritic cells go through the body looking for pathogens that cause disease, and when they find something, they carry it to a lymph node, where they train other cells to recognize and fight the disease, according to the report.

At least 10 academic and commercial teams are testing dendritic-cell vaccines to treat various cancers, the report said, and suggested the treatment could be considered as an alternative to chemotherapy.

According to the report, dendritic-cell vaccines vary, but most are made by drawing the cells from the patient's own blood and fusing them with pieces of the patient's tumor.

Dendreon and Antigenics plan to present new data on their cancer vaccines at the American Society for Clinical Oncology meeting this month, the Journal reported. Genzyme ( GENZ) was also mentioned as another company working with dendritic cells.

Investors liked what they read. Shares of Dendreon were climbing $1.32, or 24%, to $6.89 on Instinet before the opening bell. Antigenics was up $1.20, or 11%, to $11.81.

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