This is interesting. A new, controversial prostate cancer therapy has been approved by the FDA. Check-out this article I saved from earlier this month from CancerNetwork.com:
Provenge wild ride blazes trail for immunotherapy
By JONATHAN S. BATCHELOR – December 6, 2010
Amidst controversy, the FDA finally approved the prostate cancer therapy. Hopes are high that Provenge represents the first in a long line of effective immunotherapeutics.
The trip from bench to bedside for sipuleucel-T (Provenge) would seem to be inversely proportional to the mechanics of the vaccine’s delivery. From the time a vial of Provenge leaves the manufacturing plant, clinicians have a tight 18 hours to administer the dose to a patient with castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Interested? Intrigued? Here are some basics about Provenge:
The composition of sipuleucel-T depends on the composition of cells obtained from a patient’s leukapheresis. Each dose of sipuleucel-T contains autologous mononuclear cells, including antigen-presenting cells, which are activated ex vivo via culture with a recombinant fusion protein consisting of prostatic acid phosphatase linked to granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, an immune cell activator. The recommended course of therapy for sipuleucel-T is three doses, given at approximately two-week intervals by intravenous infusion. Each dose is preceded by a standard leukapheresis procedure approximately two to three days in advance. Each batch is made using a patient’s own immune cells and therefore is patient-specific.
But does it work? This is a long, detailed, excellent article which never really answers my simple question. Best I can tell the answer is maybe.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat