Department of Solid Tumor Oncology, Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.
The availability of several novel antibodies, coupled with viral, DNA, and dendritic-cell vaccines, has renewed interest in immunotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Although promising, none of these approaches have led to major clinical activity, and in the case of cell-based immunotherapy with GVAX, new concerns about safety arose when this therapy was used in the castration-resistant setting. A more attractive yet toxic approach has also utilized a check-point blockade with CTLA-4 antibodies. Although initial clinical efficacy has been observed, toxicity appears to be the major limitation of its use in prostate cancer. Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) is an autologous active cellular immunotherapy product that includes autologous dendritic cells pulsed ex vivo with PAP2024, a recombinant fusion protein made of prostatic acid phosphataase (PAP) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Despite the lack of objective anti-tumor activity seen with sipuleucel-T, a recently reported phase III trial demonstrated a significant improvement in the overall survival of men with asymptomatic, minimally symptomatic metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This agent is the first FDA-approved novel immunotherapeutic compound for the treatment of a solid malignancy. A better understanding of how clinicians should incorporate this novel agent into the current management of CRPC is needed.
Garcia JA, Dreicer R. Are you the author?
Reference: Oncology (Williston Park). 2011 Mar;25(3):242-9.