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Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Jun 1;17(11):3520-6. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-3126. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

PROVENGE (Sipuleucel-T) in prostate cancer: the first FDA-approved therapeutic cancer vaccine.

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Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Sipuleucel-T (PROVENGE; Dendreon) is the first therapeutic cancer vaccine to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In men who have metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer with no or minimal symptoms, sipuleucel-T prolongs median survival by 4.1 months compared with results in those treated with placebo. At 3 years, the proportion of patients in the vaccine group who were alive was 50% higher than that in the control group (31.7% versus 21.7%, respectively). Sipuleucel-T, which is designed to elicit an immune response to prostatic acid phosphatase, uses the patient's own immune system to recognize and combat his cancer. Currently, no other agents are available that offer a survival benefit for this population of asymptomatic patients who have not been treated with chemotherapy, except for docetaxel (whose inherent toxicities often lead patients and physicians to delay administration until symptoms develop). Straightforward strategies to increase the efficacy of sipuleucel-T are likely to provide even greater benefit. The preclinical and clinical development of sipuleucel-T is reviewed, and approaches to enhance efficacy are considered herein.

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