Provenge is used for the treatment of prostate cancer. More specifically, it is an autologous cellular immuno-therapy used for asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, metastatic prostate cancer. It is used to stimulate the patient’s own immune system to better fight the cancer and is administered prior to starting other immuno-suppressive therapies such as chemotherapy or other steroid-containing regimens.
Cell collection is the first step in preparing for the treatment. A sample of the patient’s blood is taken and passed through a special machine that collects a small portion of the patient’s immune cells, as well as some platelets and a small amount of of red blood cells. The machine then returns the rest of the cells and blood to the body.
- The cell collection process is called leukapheresis or apheresis and may take from 3 to 4 hours
- The immune cells are processed into a custom dose of Provenge made specifically for the patient.
- Each dose of Provenge is given about 3 days after the cell collection procedure. Appointments take about 2 hours.
- The procedure will take place at a different location than your cell collection procedure, usually your physician’s office.