PROVENGE® Overview Therapy at a Glance
Now that you and your doctor have decided that PROVENGE is the right treatment for you, it is important for you to play an active role in the treatment process. This chart provides you with an overview of the process, so you can fully understand the commitment necessary to complete your full course of therapy.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
Bladder cancer is most commonly diagnosed after the appearance of blood in the urine. The medical term for blood in the urine is hematuria. In the case of bladder cancer, the bleeding is usually painless, and unfortunately this can cause patients to delay a medical examination. In the earliest stage, the blood in the urine is not visible. This is termed microscopic hematuria. Some patients will experience frequent urination or frequent urinary tract infections as the first sign of bladder cancer. Patients who have experienced three or more infections in a twelve month period should be evaluated for possible bladder cancer. In more advanced stages, major hemorrhage, inability to urinate, kidney failure, and bone pain can be the presenting symptoms. When bladder cancer gets out of the bladder and into the body, it is not considered curable.
Personalized Treatment Schedule
A treatment schedule will be made that includes appointments for blood work, cell collection, and infusions of PROVENGE.
CBC and Vein Examination
Before your first cell collection procedure, you will need a CBC test.
Your doctor will also check your veins to decide the best way for your blood to be drawn. This may be through a vein or through a central venous catheter. If your doctor decides you need a central venous catheter, it will be kept in place for all of your blood draws as well as each of your PROVENGE infusions
Cell Collection Process (Leukapheresis Procedure)
During the 3- to 4-hour cell collection process, blood will be drawn from your body and passed through a machine that removes a small portion of your immune cells, along with some platelets and a small number of red blood cells.
The machine returns the rest of the cells and blood to your body.
PROVENGE Dose Is Created and Delivered
Your immune cells are picked up and sent to a Dendreon facility to be made into a dose of PROVENGE specifically for you. As soon as it is ready (about 2 to 3 days), your dose of PROVENGE will be shipped to your doctor’s office or the infusion site.
Treatment With PROVENGE
Each of your appointments to receive PROVENGE will take about 2 hours, including 30 minutes before and after the 1-hour infusion About 30 minutes before each infusion of PROVENGE, you will be given acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®) and an antihistamine (e.g., Benadryl®). These medications can help reduce the chance of side effects related to the infusion.