THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- David, a 67-year-old father of three and soon to be first-time grandfather, felt too young to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. "I felt great," he said. "I had no symptoms." David, under the advisement of his oncologist, decided to be treated with PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T), the first in a new therapeutic class known as autologous cellular immunotherapies.
"Being treated with PROVENGE was an excellent experience," said David. "I had no side effects, and I still feel as good as I did before diagnosis. My family and I are hopeful for the future. Because I was able to get this cutting-edge treatment, I am optimistic I will see my first grandchild."
David was treated at Blue Ridge Cancer Care, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, one of the nation's largest networks of community-based oncologists dedicated to advancing cancer care in America. The US Oncology Network announced during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month that many of its affiliated practices are among the first in the nation to treat advanced prostate cancer patients with PROVENGE.
"We in The Network pride ourselves on being at the forefront of cutting-edge cancer treatments so our patients can get high-quality cancer care," said Amit Mehta, M.D., Medical Director of Research for Regional Cancer Care, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network. "Several exciting novel therapies have recently been approved for prostate cancer, and we are excited to be among the first sites in the nation to offer PROVENGE, giving patients complete prostate cancer care."
At least 17 practices affiliated with The US Oncology Network offer PROVENGE and have treated prostate cancer patients with the drug when appropriate. PROVENGE was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of men with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate resistant (hormone refractory) prostate cancer and is made by Dendreon Corporation.
"PROVENGE is the first type of therapy that uses my own cells to work against the cancer cells," said Donald Larrick, a prostate cancer patient being treated at Virginia Cancer Specialists, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network. "I believe that it is decreasing the load of my cancer."
PROVENGE is an autologous (made from a patient's own immune cells) cellular immunotherapy designed to stimulate a patient's immune system to identify and target prostate cancer cells. Each dose is manufactured specifically for each patient using his immune cells.
"This is an exciting new therapy that gives new options to men with advanced prostate cancer," says Joseph Volk, M.D., oncologist with Arizona Oncology, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network. "In the future, we will be able to use targeted therapies to treat different types of cancer. We're pleased to be able to provide this option to our patients."
The US Oncology Network affiliated practices offering PROVENGE include:
PROVENGE is intended solely for autologous use and is not routinely tested for transmissible infectious diseases.
In controlled clinical trials, serious adverse events reported in the PROVENGE group included acute infusion reactions (occurring within 1 day of infusion) and cerebrovascular events. Severe (Grade 3) acute infusion reactions were reported in 3.5% of patients in the PROVENGE group. Reactions included chills, fever, fatigue, asthenia, dyspnea, hypoxia, bronchospasm, dizziness, headache, hypertension, muscle ache, nausea, and vomiting. No Grade 4 or 5 acute infusion reactions were reported in patients in the PROVENGE group.
The most common adverse events (incidence ≥15%) reported in the PROVENGE group are chills, fatigue, fever, back pain, nausea, joint ache, and headache.
Please see full Prescribing Information for PROVENGE at www.provenge.com.
About Prostate Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the United States and the third most common cancer worldwide. More than two million men in the United States have prostate cancer, with an estimated 240,890 new cases and approximately 33,720 men expected to die from the disease this year.
Individuals interested in learning whether PROVENGE is an appropriate treatment option should contact one of the practices listed above or call 1-877-336-3736. For full Prescribing Information, please visit www.PROVENGE.com.
About The US Oncology Network
The US Oncology Network is one of the nation's largest networks of community-based oncology physicians dedicated to advancing cancer care in America. Like-minded physicians are united through The Network around a common vision of expanding patient access to high-quality, integrated cancer care in communities throughout the nation. Leveraging healthcare information technology, shared best practices, refined evidence-based medicine guidelines, and quality measurements, physicians affiliated with The US Oncology Network are committed to advancing the quality, safety, and science of cancer care to improve patient outcomes. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health, a division of McKesson Corporation focused on empowering a vibrant and sustainable community patient care delivery system to advance the science, technology and quality of care. For more information, visit www.usoncology.com.
SOURCE The US Oncology Network