Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology is among the first cancer practices in the nation to offer Provenge, an innovative treatment option for advanced prostate cancer patients.
Provenge is a biological treatment that actually uses a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Provenge has been proven to be a very successful treatment for certain men with advanced prostate cancer. It’s been proven to extend their lives.
“We’re very pleased to continue to be on the leading edge of cancer treatment with this radical new approach to treating prostate cancer,” says Dan Konow, chief operating officer for Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology.
Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Provenge is neither a chemotherapy drug nor a form of hormone therapy to reduce testosterone level. Rather, Provenge is cellular immunotherapy designed to stimulate a patient’s immune system to identify and target prostate cancer cells. Each dose is manufactured specifically for each patient using his immune cells.
During treatment with Provenge, a patient’s white blood cells are collected, activated to seek and attack prostate cancer cells, and reintroduced into the patient’s bloodstream. Typical treatment with Provenge is completed within a month. The most common side effects are mostly mild or moderate and include chills, fatigue, fever, back pain, nausea, joint ache, and headache.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer ranks second to skin cancer as the most common cancer in American men. It’s estimated that more than 240,000 new cases will be diagnosed and that more than 28,000 men will die from prostate cancer in 2012. About one man in every six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and about one in 36 will die of the disease. Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men, but the survival rate is high with proper treatment.
“With any cancer, it’s important to investigate every possible treatment option, and Provenge is a viable alternative treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer,” Konow says. “At the same time, Provenge is just one example of the groundbreaking treatment options we offer all our patients at Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology.”