Combining immunological and androgen-directed approaches: An emerging concept in prostate cancer immunotherapy

Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.
Current opinion in oncology (Impact Factor: 4.47). 03/2012; 24(3):258-65. DOI: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e32835205a0
Source: PubMed


The autologous antigen-presenting cell immunotherapy, sipuleucel-T, was the first and remains the only US Food and Drug Administration-approved immunotherapy for prostate cancer. In this article, we will summarize recent clinical data on several additional immune-directed strategies, some of which have now entered phase 3 trials.
Multiple studies are now testing sipuleucel-T in different disease settings and/or in combination with conventional and novel hormonal therapies. In addition, a poxviral-based vaccine has shown promise in early-phase clinical studies and has now entered phase 3 testing in men with metastatic prostate cancer. Next, a DNA vaccine has been evaluated in men with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer and has shown early signs of clinical efficacy. Finally, several studies are evaluating the role of immune checkpoint blockade using ipilimumab in pivotal phase 3 trials in prostate cancer patients with advanced disease, as well as in earlier phase studies in combination with androgen ablation.
The abundance of new treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer will challenge the role of immunotherapy in these patients. Future progress may rely on optimal combination and sequencing of various immunotherapies with androgen-directed approaches as well as with other standard prostate cancer therapies, an effort which is now just beginning.

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