What is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is different from other prostate cancer treatments. It can activate your own immune system to seek out and attack prostate cancer.

Treatments for prostate cancer

It is important to understand your treatment options and discuss them with your urologist or oncologist throughout your cancer journey.

Men with advanced prostate cancer have a variety of treatment options. Your treatment choice depends on multiple factors, including the stage of your cancer and your overall health. Some common treatment options include:

Hormone Therapy

Blocks the production or action of male hormones, such as testosterone, which prostate cancer needs to grow

  • Hormone therapy may also be called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or androgen suppression therapy
  • Examples of hormone therapy
    • Surgery (surgical removal of the testicles)
    • Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists for injection (shots) such as leuprolide (Lupron®, Eligard®) and goserelin (Zoladex®)
    • LHRH antagonists for injection such as degarelix (Firmagon®)
    • Anti-androgen pills such as flutamide (Eulexin®) and bicalutamide (Casodex®)
    • Other androgen-suppressing drugs such as estrogens (female hormones) and ketoconazole (Nizoral®)
    • Next-line hormone inhibitors, such as abiraterone (Zytiga®) and enzalutamide (Xtandi®)

Personalized Immunotherapy

Activates the immune system to seek out and attack prostate cancer


Is a class of drugs used to stop prostate cancer cells from growing

  • Chemotherapy is used to treat prostate cancer and may include docetaxel (Taxotere®), cabazitaxel (Jevtana®), and mitoxantrone (Novantrone®)


Are a class of drugs that contain a radioactive element, such as radium Ra 223 dichloride (Xofigo®) for men with bone pain from prostate cancer

Lupron Depot is a registered trademark of AbbVie Inc. Eligard is a registered trademark of Tolmar Pharmaceueticals. Zoladex and Casodex are registered trademarks of AstraZeneca. Firmagon is a registered trademark of Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Eulexin is a registered trademark of Schering-Plough. Nizoral and Zytiga are registered trademarks of Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Xtandi is a registered trademark of Astellas Pharma Inc. Taxotere is a registered trademark of Aventis Pharmaceuticals. Jevtana is a registered trademark of Sanofi Genzyme. Novantrone is a registered trademark of EMD Serono, Inc. Xofigo is a registered trademark of Bayer.

Immunotherapy helps men live longer

The pivotal study showed that more men treated with PROVENGE were alive than men not treated with PROVENGE.

  • Men in the study had prostate cancer that had spread to other parts of their bodies despite hormone therapy, and did not use prescription pain medicine to manage cancer-related pain
  • Median survival was 4.1 months longer for men treated with PROVENGE (25.8 months) than for men who were not (21.7 months)

Men taking PROVENGEa

25.8 months

Men not taking PROVENGE

21.7 months

PROVENGE, the first immunotherapy for prostate cancer, prolonged life for men with both low and high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. There may be greater survival benefits when men with advanced prostate cancer start PROVENGE while PSA levels are lower.b

  • Median survival was 13 months longer for men with a low PSAc treated with PROVENGE compared with men with a low PSA who did not receive treatmentb

aIndividual results may vary.
bAnalysis was exploratory and individual results may vary.
cPSA less than or equal to 22.1 ng/mL.

Most common infusion side effects were generally mild or moderate and limited to a couple of days

PROVENGE was generally well tolerated and most infusion-related side effects lasted 1 or 2 days.

There are potential risks associated with PROVENGE:

  • In controlled clinical trials, 71.2% of patients in the PROVENGE group developed an acute infusion reaction
  • The most common events (≥20%) were chills, fever, and fatigue. In 95.1% of patients reporting acute infusion reactions, the reactions were mild or moderate. Fevers and chills generally resolved within 2 days (71.9% and 89%, respectively)
  • 1.5% of men discontinued their treatment with PROVENGE due to side effects

The most common side effects of PROVENGE prostate cancer treatment include:

  • Chills
  • Back pain
  • Joint ache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fever

PROVENGE infusion can cause serious reactions. Tell your doctor right away if:

  • You have breathing problems, chest pains, racing heart or irregular heartbeats, high or low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, nausea, or vomiting after getting PROVENGE. Any of these may be signs of heart or lung problems.
  • You develop numbness or weakness on one side of the body, decreased vision in one eye, or difficulty speaking. Any of these may be signs of a stroke.
  • You develop symptoms of thrombosis which may include: pain and/or swelling of an arm or leg with warmth over the affected area, discoloration of an arm or leg, unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain that worsens on deep breathing.
  • You get a fever over 100°F, or redness or pain at the infusion or collection sites. Any of these may be signs of infection.

These are not all the possible side effects of PROVENGE treatment. For more information, talk with your doctor. Please see Important Safety Information.

PROVENGE was shown to extend life without lowering PSA levels

PSA is not a measurement of treatment success or survival outcomes.

PSA is a normal protein made by the prostate. In healthy men, some PSA is found in the blood. Measuring PSA levels in the blood is used to look for changes in prostate cancer (ie, disease progression). Once prostate cancer has progressed to advanced disease, PSA may play a smaller role. PSA level in the blood is not a specific marker of treatment success. In the PROVENGE clinical trials, the main goal was not to lower PSA levels—it was to extend life.

How PROVENGE works

PROVENGE is the first and only FDA-approved, personalized (made from your own immune cells) immunotherapy for advanced prostate cancer (mCRPC).

PROVENGE may be considered first for some men with advanced prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Your immune system is your body’s natural defense. PROVENGE is designed to work with your immune system to seek out and attack your prostate cancer cells. PROVENGE is made from your own cells to treat your advanced prostate cancer. By activating immune cells already in your body, PROVENGE personalizes the fight against your advanced prostate cancer.

PROVENGE is clinically proven to help extend life in certain men with advanced prostate cancer (mCRPC) who do not need prescription pain medication for cancer-related pain. Learn more about the PROVENGE experience.

You are not alone

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in America. There are many ways to connect with the large community of men undergoing a similar journey to yours. Start the PROVENGE conversation by using the doctor locator to find a treatment center near you and explore available resources.

Find Support