DCVax®-Prostate is an experimental autologous cellular therapy designed to create a specific immune response against a patientís cancer. DCVax®-Prostate utilizes a patients own dendritic cells (DC), and an antigen or target protein that is expressed in all prostate cancers called Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) to achieve this immune response. The patientís blood cells are shipped to a central manufacturing facility in order to prepare the treatment. DCVax®-Prostate is then shipped frozen to the clinic for administration to the patient. DCVax®-Prostate is usually manufactured in sufficient quantities for up to 30 months of treatment.
Prostate Cancer Facts
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death by cancer in males in the United States as estimated by the American Cancer Society for 2005. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and 232,090 men will learn that they have prostate cancer in 2005. Only lung cancer claims more lives in men than prostate cancer. The early detection of prostate cancer has improved significantly due to the blood test for prostate specific antigen, or PSA. Early detection is critical in successful treatment of prostate cancer. For example, early diagnosis of disease that is restricted to local and regional sites is 100% at 5 years. The last 20 years of data show that 10-year survival is 92%, and 15-year survival is 61%. The improvement in survival is most likely a direct result of earlier detection as well as improved treatment options.
Prostate Cancer Progression
Standard of Care
Early detection of prostate cancer gives a man several treatment options. Approximately 50% of men elect surgery with or without external beam radiation, and the remaining 50% elect seed therapy or brachytherapy with or without external beam radiation. Approximately 30% of patients fail primary therapy over a 5-year period, and subsequently receive hormonal therapy. Hormonal therapy can be effective for long periods of time, reducing tumor progression and relieving pain as well as other symptoms. Rising PSA blood levels while on hormonal therapy identifies the next stage of prostate cancer called hormone independent prostate cancer. Some men move into this stage with identified metastatic lesions either in the bone or in lymph nodes, while the majority of men have only rising PSA blood values. DCVax®-Prostate targets this non-metastatic, hormone independent prostate cancer population.