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Sipuleucel-T (Provenge®) is a cancer vaccine used to treat advanced prostate cancer.

This vaccine has to be made special from each patient’s own blood cells. To make it, white blood cells are removed from the patient’s blood and sent to a lab, where they are exposed to a certain protein from prostate cancer cells. These cells are then sent back to the doctor’s office and given back to the patient through a vein (IV). This process is done twice more, 2 weeks apart, so that the patient gets 3 doses of cells. In the body, the cells cause other immune system cells to attack the prostate cancer.

Side effects tend to be mild and can include fever, chills, fatigue, back and joint pain, nausea, and headache. A few men have more severe symptoms, including problems breathing and high blood pressure, which usually get better after treatment.

Last Medical Review: 01/09/2015
Last Revised: 02/09/2016