Sipuleucel-T: Immunotherapy for advanced prostate cancer

University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
Open Access Journal of Urology 05/2011; 3(1):49-60. DOI: 10.2147/OAJU.S13069
Source: PubMed


Prostate cancer continues to be one of the most serious afflictions of men of advanced age, remaining the most commonly diagnosed and second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in American men. The treatment options for patients with incurable metastatic, castrate-resistant disease have long focused on various chemotherapeutic approaches, which provide a slight survival benefit while being associated with potentially significant side effects. However, the recent approval of sipuleucel-T has given patients with advanced disease an additional treatment option that has demonstrated benefit without the side effects associated with chemotherapy. Sipuleucel-T is an antigen-presenting cell-based active immunotherapy that utilizes a patient's own immune cells, presumably to activate an antigen-specific immune response against tumor cells. This review focuses on the development and implementation of sipuleucel-T as a therapy for prostate cancer. Specifically, we present some of the issues associated with the management of advanced prostate cancer, the research and development that led to the approval of sipuleucel-T, how the approval of sipuleucel-T could change the clinical management of prostate cancer, and current and future areas of investigation that are being pursued with regard to sipuleucel-T and other treatments for advanced prostate cancer.

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