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PROVENGE Treatment for Prostate Cancer

New Mexico Cancer Center is the first facility in the state to treat advanced prostate cancer patients with PROVENGE,which is designed to stimulate a patient’s immune system to identify and target prostate cancer cells. PROVENGE (sipuleucel-T) is the first in a new therapeutic class known as autologous cellular immunotherapies, and each dose is manufactured specifically for the individual patient using his own immune cells.


PROVENGE was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of men with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate resistant (hormone refractory) prostate cancer.


How PROVENGE works

Even though the immune system works to defend a person against infection and disease, sometime cancer cells can “hide” to protect themselves from attack. PROVENGE is designed to train a body’s immune cells to seek and attack prostate cancer cells.


How is PROVENGE made and what is the dosage schedule?

PROVENGE is a breakthrough treatment for certain men with advanced prostate cancer that is designed to work differently than other treatments. Each dose of PROVENGE is made specifically for a patient from their own immune cells.


A PROVENGE regimen includes three doses scheduled about two weeks apart, each of which is preceded by a cell collection procedure called leukapheresis about two to three days before the scheduled dose is administered. Once the immune cells are collected, they are shipped to a facility where they are combined with a protein that is found in most prostate cancers linked to an immune-stimulating agent. The combination of the individual immune cells and this protein is what makes the active component of a dose of PROVENGE.


Because PROVENGE uses cells from an individual’s immune system to target prostate cancer cells, it may also be referred to as a cancer vaccine. Cancer treatment vaccines are intended to treat already existing cancers by strengthening the body’s natural defenses against cancer, and it shouldn’t be confused with preventive vaccines.

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