Prostate Cancer Vaccine Side Effects

The prostate cancer vaccine for now that has concluded Phase III trials and has been sanctioned and licensed by the US FDA is Sipuleucel-T.
The Sipuleucel-T vaccine vaccinates patients against the prostatic acid phosphatase, the antigen that causes prostate cancer. A current Phase III trial is presently ongoing using the vaccinia-based prostate-specific antigen vaccine Prostvac-TRICOM.
There are other vaccines used in clinical trials, they include:
  • Ad/prostate-specific antigen vaccine
  • Ad5-prostate-specific antigen
  • DNA/prostatic acid phosphatase vaccine

Prostate Cancer Vaccine

Researchers believe sooner than later there would be available vaccination for every prostate cancer diagnosis to aid the body combat the incurable cancer.
Prostate cancer develop because the immune system must have erroneously seen them as normal instead of a harmful substance that should be destroyed, according to Jonathan Simons, a medical oncologist of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Prostate cancer cells is often goes unnoticed by the immune system because of their deceptive mode of gaining entrance into the system. The objective of all immunotherapy vaccines is to train the body’s immune system to spot cancer as the enemy and foreign invader.
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The immunotherapy research right now is very complex, formidably impenetrable and puzzling, even for doctors to comprehend.  But the thing is, immunotherapy is going to be progressively more important in prostate cancer, and may even open new doors on how to get a cure advanced prostate cancer.
Provenge, also called sipuleucel-T, is the only immunotherapy that has been officially approved by the FDA for prostate cancer.  Sipuleucel-T is usually administered to men undergoing early metastasis after they have been on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), also described as castrate-resistant prostate cancer, or CRPC.)
According to physician Charles G. Drake, M.D., Ph.D and director of genitourinary oncology;
“The vaccine is produced using a man’s own cells”.
The immune cells are extracted in a process called leukapheresis. It fundamentally involves extracting blood through a needle in one arm, some WBC, platelets and RBC are extracted, and the rest of the blood is pumped back into the other arm.  Then, those cells are injected into a culture with an engineered protein that connects prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) with special mush that triggers the immune system.  The special mush is called GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor.
Provenge increases the average survival by a few months, according to multiple clinical studies. However, Provenge may be capable of achieving more if it is administered to men with less aggressive cancer.  Also, it may attain a kind of concerted effort or extra momentum if joined with other treatments.
Provenge involves using GM-CSF to initiate the dendritic cells to instruct the immune system on ways of attacking the prostate cancer cells.  The vaccine is made to attack an antigen that prostate cancer cells fly, PAP.

Prostate Cancer Vaccine Side Effects

Some common prostate cancer vaccine side effects include nausea, fever, joint pain, fatigue, chills, back, and headache. They are associated with the infusion period and usually only last for a few days.
Other vaccines identify other flags such as PSA and PSMA. Provenge has the ability to slow down metastatic cancer. Researchers consider Provenge is remarkably safe with very little side effects.  It isn’t associated with vomiting or nausea. In rare cases, some men may experience flu symptoms.
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Since Provenge is more effective when a man is healthier state, it may be better to administer it before any sign of metastasis.
According to Drake, researchers are currently working to help men with prostate cancer because the side effects that accompanies ADT are quite unpleasant. So, there is work ongoing to look for a better way to treat advanced cancer without eliminating the male hormones.
For now, researchers place men with prostate cancer on ADT for the shortest period of time along with immunotherapy, to get their cancer into remission.
Since prostate cancer has no cure, the main aim of the vaccine is to save life of men with prostate cancer. Drake said researchers are currently looking at men who have crumpled on hormone therapy, who are still on ADT but who have added an androgen receptor-targeting drug including an enzalutamide.  Other drugs are equally being verified in clinical trials one is an antiandrogen called apalutamide (also known as ARN-509) that might work well with a prostate cancer vaccine.

Wrapping Up

The prostate cancer vaccine gets your immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells. This vaccine is best for men who have undergone hormone therapy that is no longer effective. The vaccine is usually custom-made for each man with prostate cancer, and it helps to boost their longevity, helping them to live longer.

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