How Does This Medicine Work?

PROVENGE is thought to work by stimulating the body's own immune system to attack prostate cancer cells. This is done by removing white blood cells from the body and exposing them to an antigen (a molecule that stimulates an immune response) that is made up of two important parts -- a protein found in most prostate cancer cells and a protein that activates the immune system. The white blood cells attack the antigen and display pieces of it on their surface.
When the white blood cells are introduced back into the bloodstream, they present the antigen pieces to T cells (a type of white blood cell). The T cells are now activated. Because they have been introduced to the protein found in prostate cancer cells, they are now able to recognize and attack the cancer.

Is It Safe for Children?

PROVENGE is not approved for use in children and has not been adequately studied in this age group. It is unlikely that this medication would be used in children because prostate cancer generally occurs in adults.

Can Older Adults Use It?

Prostate cancer is a common cancer in older men. Therefore, much of the use of PROVENGE will be in older adults. The majority of men in PROVENGE clinical trials were 65 years of age and older. In these studies, older men tolerated the medicine as well as younger men.

Off-Label Uses for PROVENGE

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medication for something other than the condition discussed in this article. This is known as an "off-label" use. Possible off-label uses for PROVENGE include the treatment of earlier stages of prostate cancer (before the cancer has spread) and the treatment of prostate cancer in men who are experiencing more than minimal prostate cancer symptoms.
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