February 8, 2016
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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


PROVENGE is intended solely for autologous use.

Acute Infusion Reactions

Acute infusion reactions (reported within 1 day of infusion) included, but were not limited to, fever, chills, respiratory events (dyspnea, hypoxia, and bronchospasm), nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hypertension, and tachycardia. 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 events were mild or moderate. Fevers and chills generally resolved within 2 days (71.9% and 89.0%, respectively).

In controlled clinical trials, 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. The incidence of severe events was greater following the second infusion (2.1% vs. 0.8% following the first infusion), and decreased to 1.3% following the third infusion. Some (1.2%) patients in the PROVENGE group were hospitalized within 1 day of infusion for management of acute infusion reactions. No Grade 4 or 5 acute infusion reactions were reported in patients in the PROVENGE group.

Closely monitor patients with cardiac or pulmonary conditions. In the event of an acute infusion reaction, the infusion rate may be decreased, or the infusion stopped, depending on the severity of the reaction. Appropriate medical therapy should be administered as needed. [See Administration Modification for Infusion Reactions and HOW SUPPLIED, Storage and Handling]

Handling Precautions for Control of Infectious Disease

PROVENGE is not routinely tested for transmissible infectious diseases. Therefore, patient leukapheresis material and PROVENGE may carry the risk of transmitting infectious diseases to health care professionals handling the product. Accordingly, health care professionals should employ universal precautions when handling leukapheresis material or PROVENGE. [See HOW SUPPLIED, Storage and Handling]

Concomitant Chemotherapy or Immunosuppressive Therapy

Use of either chemotherapy or immunosuppressive agents (such as systemic corticosteroids) given concurrently with the leukapheresis procedure or PROVENGE has not been studied. PROVENGE is designed to stimulate the immune system, and concurrent use of immunosuppressive agents may alter the efficacy and/or safety of PROVENGE. Therefore, patients should be carefully evaluated to determine whether it is medically appropriate to reduce or discontinue immunosuppressive agents prior to treatment with PROVENGE.

Product Safety Testing

PROVENGE is released for infusion based on the microbial and sterility results from several tests: microbial contamination determination by Gram stain, endotoxin content, and in-process sterility with a 2-day incubation to determine absence of microbial growth. The final (7-day incubation) sterility test results are not available at the time of infusion. If the sterility results become positive for microbial contamination after PROVENGE has been approved for infusion, Dendreon will notify the treating physician. Dendreon will attempt to identify the microorganism, perform antibiotic sensitivity testing on recovered microorganisms, and communicate the results to the treating physician. Dendreon may request additional information from the physician in order to determine the source of contamination.

Patient Counseling Information

Inform the patient or caregiver about the following:

  • The recommended course of therapy for PROVENGE is 3 complete doses. Each infusion of PROVENGE is preceded by a leukapheresis procedure approximately 3 days prior. It is important to maintain all scheduled appointments and arrive at each appointment on time because the leukapheresis and infusions must be appropriately spaced and the PROVENGE expiration time must not be exceeded.
  • If the patient is unable to receive an infusion of PROVENGE, the patient will need to undergo an additional leukapheresis procedure if the treatment is to be continued.
  • Counsel the patient on the importance of adhering to preparation instructions for the leukapheresis procedure, the possible side effects of leukapheresis, and post-procedure care.
  • If the patient does not have adequate peripheral venous access to accommodate the leukapheresis procedure and infusion of PROVENGE, inform the patient about the need for a central venous catheter. Counsel the patient on the importance of catheter care. Instruct the patient to tell their doctor if they are experiencing fevers or any swelling or redness around the catheter site, because these symptoms could be signs of an infected catheter.
  • Report signs and symptoms of acute infusion reactions such as fever, chills, fatigue, breathing problems, dizziness, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, headache, or muscle aches.
  • Report any symptoms suggestive of a cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Inform their doctor if they are taking immunosuppressive agents.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No carcinogenicity or mutagenicity studies of PROVENGE in animals were conducted. No studies on the effects of PROVENGE on fertility have been conducted.

Use In Specific Populations


In controlled clinical trials, 72.9% of patients (438 of 601) in the PROVENGE group were ≥ 65 years of age. There were no apparent differences in the safety of PROVENGE between patients ≥ 65 years of age and younger patients.

In a survival analysis of the controlled clinical trials of PROVENGE in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer, 78.3% of randomized patients (382 of 488) were ≥ 65 years of age. The median survival of patients in the PROVENGE group ≥ 65 years of age was 23.4 months (95% confidence interval 22.0, 27.1), compared with 17.3 months in the control group (95% confidence interval: 13.5, 21.5).


In controlled clinical trials, 90.6% of patients were Caucasian, 5.8% were African American, and 3.7% were "Other". Due to the low numbers of non-Caucasian patients in the trials, no conclusions can be made regarding the safety or efficacy of PROVENGE by race.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/18/2011


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