Provenge or sipuleucel-T

Provenge or sipuleucel-T

New ’biologic’ drug made by Dendreon. This targets prostate cancer and costs roughly 18,000 pounds or $27,000 US a month. The mean increased survival time in research was 4 months (Impact Phase III trial). As with all ’biologics’, some patients may survive much longer the manufacturer’s website quotes a trial with greater survival but this is controversial according to Wikipedia.

This type of treatment is called ’Autologous Cellular Immunotherapy. It is a 'Therapeutic Vaccine' ; a dendritic cell vaccine.

The Dendreon website for Provenge (which seems dangerously close to the overclaim of wonder drug) states that cancer cells can hide from your immune system, but Provenge train’s your body’s immune system to seek out and attack prostate cancer cells. 

The drug is applicable to people that are on hormone therapy and have a rising PSA, have a confirmed spread beyond the prostate and are not taking narcotics for cancer-related pain 

The treatment involves three 'doses' given two weeks apart.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

Click Here

Each dose is prepared from the patients blood, which is drawn over a 4 hour period. Certain white cells are removed. Special centres are required for this. The cells are then sent away for modification and the dose prepared. It is administered about 3 days later.There can be risks with the cell collection process.

In Clinical Trials some people experienced severe side effects such as severe fever, dizziness, problems in breathing and high blood pressure, on top of the usual nausea, fatigue and sickness. Almost 2 percent of patients have to stop the treatment.

Sipuleucel-T is given in 3 doses with approximately a week or two between each dose.

Common side effects include fatigue, back pain, fever-like symptoms, nausea, musculoskeletal pain, vomiting, etc. 



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