This therapy is for those with metastatic prostate cancer (mCRPC) and no symptoms.
What is immunotherapy?
Researchers are now using the body's own immune system to treat mCRPC. If prostate cancer returns despite hormone therapy and is metastatic, your health care provider may offer Sipuleucel-T (Provenge®).
Sipuleucel-T works by boosting your immune system so it attacks cancer cells. Other prostate cancer immunotherapies are also being studied.
What are the benefits, risks and side effects of immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy boosts the immune system. It may extend survival by months for some patients. This is the first immunotherapy that has been shown to help men with prostate cancer live longer.
Side effects may include fever, chills, weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The patient may also have low blood pressure and rashes.
Who are good candidates for immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is given to mCRPC patients before chemotherapy. There may also be patients who get chemotherapy and immunotherapy together. For immunotherapy, the patient needs to have no or mild symptoms. If chemotherapy was started before symptoms or chemotherapy causes symptoms to go away, immunotherapy is a possible choice.
Updated August 2018