Dr. Alter Discusses the Provenge Treatment Process

Dr. Robert Alter from John Theurer Cancer Center Discusses the Provenge Treatment Process

Robert S. Alter, MD, co-chief, Urologic Oncology, John Theurer Cancer Center, discusses the 3 day process involved in the autologous cellular immunotherapy Provenge (sipuleucel-T), indicated for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer.

The process begins with leukapheresis that filters out the antigen presenting mononuclear white blood cells from the blood and returns the remaining components. The extracted cells are shipped to a near by facility where the Provenge vaccine is manufactured through a process of ex vivo culturing. The collected mononuclear cells are added to a combination of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) for a pre-defined period of time.

Approximately 3 days after the initial leukapheresis the final product is given to the patient. After receiving a premedication of Benadryl and Tylenol the vaccine is administered intravenously over the course of an hour. The patient receives a total of 3 Provenge doses in 2-week intervals.

Alter explains that there are generally no adverse reactions to Provenge and the most common side effects are infusion reactions consisting of joint pain, chills, and nausea. These effects are usually mild and resolve 24-36 hours after the infusion.