University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
Although prostate cancer was not historically considered to be a particularly immune-responsive cancer, recent clinical trials have demonstrated that immunotherapy for prostate cancer can lead to improvements in overall survival (OS). These studies include randomized controlled trials with sipuleucel-T and another with PROSTVAC-VF, both of which rely on stimulating the immune system to target prostate proteins. This review discusses the most promising developments over the past year in immune-based therapy for prostate cancer and the opportunities that lie ahead. Recent randomized immunotherapy trials in prostate cancer have demonstrated improvements in OS but without the concomitant improvements in progression-free survival. This uncoupling of survival from clinical response poses challenges to clinical management, because conventional measures of objective response cannot be used to identify patients benefiting from treatment. There is a significant need to identify immunologic or clinical surrogates for survival so that clinical benefit can be assessed in a timely manner. Immunotherapy is now an established treatment approach for prostate cancer, with multiple clinical trials demonstrating improvements in OS. Significant challenges to this modality remain, including determining best clinical setting for immunotherapy, identifying patients who benefit, and defining relevant clinical and immunologic end points. Nevertheless, the broader availability of novel immunotherapies will provide opportunities not only to target different components of the immune system but also to combine immunotherapies with other treatments for improved clinical efficacy.
Cha E, Fong L. Are you the author?
Reference: J Clin Oncol. 2011 Aug 8. Epub ahead of print.
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