Introduction to Dendritic Cell Therapy for Psoriasis

Disclaimer: Consult with a doctor before deciding on a treatment plan for any disease.

Dendritic Cell Therapy is an immunotherapy treatment that’s used to activate the immune system to improve the symptoms of diseases like psoriasis. Dendritic Cell Therapy is FDA-approved under the trade name Provenge for the treatment of prostate cancer. Side effects from this treatment occur in about 10% of patients.

What are Dendritic Cells?

Dendritic cells are immune-system messengers that help the body identify and raise and alarm against foreign, invading pathogens. The dendritic cells begin by alerting the lymphocytes and then other cells when a pathogen is present. They’re found in the inner lining of the nose, the skin, stomach, intestines, lungs, and bone marrow and they have the power to sensitize T-cells to invaders. Dendritic cells have been used successfully to treat psoriasis.


Dendritic Cell Therapy for Psoriasis


Dendritic cell therapy is administered via injections. First, the patient’s blood is drawn so that the patient’s own white blood cells can be extracted. Then, a vaccine is custom-made for the patient over the course of about 8 days. The white blood cells are grown and cultured before being administered. 


Side Effects of Dendritic Cell Therapy for Psoriasis


There is a long list of side effects associated with Dendritic Cell Therapy for Psoriasis. The most serious side effects that occur in 10% of people (1 out of 10) are not always listed on websites about this treatment modality. These side effects include life-threatening issues like stroke. Below are the most common and less severe side effects that can be caused by this type of therapy, but be aware that other more serious side effects are relatively common and may occur in 1 out of 10 people:


  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain
  • Myalgia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bronchospasm/Trouble Breathing
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Increased heart rate
  • Back pain
  • Hypertension
  • Headache
  • Citrate Toxicity 
  • Decreased oxygen in the blood
  • Dizziness
  • Anemia
  • Weakness
  • Bloody urine
  • Excessive sweating
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Involuntary quivering
  • Muscle spasm
  • Rash
  • Muscle pain


 Other Important Information

Dendritic cell vaccines are in use at the following hospitals. Contact them for more information about dendritic cell therapy for psoriasis:


Cedars Sinai Medical Center 

Los Angeles, California



The Preston Robert Tisch Cancer Center 

Duke Medical School in North Carolina



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Other Important Links:

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[1] Anguille, S., Smits, E. L., Lion, E., van Tendeloo, V. F., Berneman, Z. N. (2014). Clinical use of dendritic cells for cancer therapy. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from 


[2] WebMD (2018). Provenge Plastic Bag, Injection Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from 


[3] (2002-2018). Provenge. Retrieved June 4, 2018 from 


[4] CancerActive (2018). A Review on Dendritic Cell Vaccines and Dendritic Cell Therapy: What is it? Retrieved June 4, 2018 from