Fifty-seven year old Robert Obin says he may be a cancer patient, but he doesn't want to look like one.
He loves clothes and compliments.
For seven years, he's tried everything to fight an aggressive prostate cancer that spread to his bones.
He says radiation was the worst.
At Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center, doctors offered him a new treatment using his own blood called Provenge.
The blood goes to a lab, where specific immune T cells are collected and exposed to proteins similar to his prostate cancer.
Then, they're put back into the patient to fight the cancer.
In trials, this active cellular immunotherapy increased patients' lifespan by an average of four months.
Robert is a believer.
A hopeful, late-stage cancer patient who isn't giving up anytime soon.
More information on next page.
BACKGROUND: The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that produces the majority of fluid that makes up semen -- the thick fluid that carries sperm. The walnut-sized gland is located beneath a man's bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder. Prostate function is regulated by testosterone, a male sex hormone produced mainly in the testicles. Prostate cancer is a major health concern for American men. Although the disease is rare before age 50, experts believe that most elderly men have at least traces of it. Prostate cancer cells do not follow normal patterns and grow uncontrollably and spread to other tissues. It is typically a very slow-growing tumor, often causing no symptoms until advanced stages. (SOURCE: WebMD)
STANDARD TREATMENT: Late-stage prostate cancer happens when the condition has spread beyond the prostate, and there are fewer options for treatment. The most common recommended late-stage treatment is orchiectomy. This is when one or both of the testicles are surgically removed. This is because the cancer has spread not only to the entire prostate but also to the testicles and other surrounding parts. Removing the major source of testosterone that helps the spread of the cancer is thought to help the patient survive the condition. Other late-stage treatments include hormone therapy. When this proves ineffective in treating the illness, chemotherapy and radiation are often recommended. (SOURCE: EzineArticles.com)
NEW TREATMENT: Provenge is a breakthrough prescription medication for certain men with advanced prostate cancer. It is the first prostate cancer therapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is designed to work differently from hormone therapy or chemotherapy. Provenge is the first autologous cellular immunotherapy, meaning it uses the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer. Your immune system is made up of immune cells found in your blood. These cells work as your body’s natural defense against all types of illness.
HOW IT WORKS: The patient’s personalized dose of Provenge consists of his own immune cells that have been activated by a recombinant antigen to seek and attack prostate cancer cells. By stimulating the natural ability of immune cells already in the blood, Provenge may help certain men with advanced prostate cancer live longer. In a clinical trial, this therapy reduced the risk of death from prostate cancer by 22.5 percent in men who received treatment. Treatment includes three doses, given two weeks apart. After three infusions, treatment is complete.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Joanna Palmer, Public Relations
Mount Sinai Medical Center
(Information provided by Ivanhoe)
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