Provenge (Sipuleuce-T) for prostate cancer

Provenge is a new treatment option for patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer which has become resistant to hormone therapy (also known as castrate resistant).

Provenge is the first autologous cellular immunotherapy – this means stimulating the patient’s immune system to target and attack prostate cancer. It is designed to teach the immune system how to target prostatic acid phosphatase, a protein that is over-expressed on prostate cancer cells. Provenge is derived from a patient’s own immune cells, so it is tailor-made for every patient.

Provenge is indicated for men:

  • With metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer
  • Who are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, defined as:
    • No moderate to severe prostate cancer-related pain
    • No use of narcotics for cancer-related pain

Certain additional criteria from the Provenge pivotal trial for consideration:

  • No visceral (lung, liver, or brain) metastases
  • ECOG Performance Status of 0 or 1
  • No treatment with chemotherapy for at least the previous 3 months

In phase III trials, Provenge extended median survival beyond two years – 25.8 months compared with 21.8 months for patients in the control group. Provenge reduced the risk of death by 22.5 per cent.

Treatment with Provenge is complete in three cycles. It is given as three infusions at two-week intervals. It has minimal side effect.

Provenge is currently only available in the USA.