Vaccine approach extends life of metastatic prostate cancer patients

Jan 25, 2010

In a newly published clinical trial, patients with metastatic prostate cancer who received a vaccine of harmless poxviruses engineered to spur an immune system attack on prostate tumor cells lived substantially longer than patients who received a placebo vaccine, report researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and affiliated organizations. The findings will be published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology on its Web site and later in a print edition.

The randomized phase II study involved the PROSTVAC-VF vaccine, a combination of two weakened poxviruses that have been genetically programmed to produce slightly irregular versions of prostate specific antigen (PSA) - a protein on the surface of prostate cells that is abnormal in many prostate cancers - and three costimulatory molecules that spur the immune system to a more vigorous attack on . The double-blinded trial included 125 patients with metastatic who did not respond to standard, hormone-lowering therapy. Eighty-two of the participants received the vaccine, produced by BN ImmunoTherapeutics, Inc., of Mountain View, Cal., and 40 received a placebo.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Dr. Philip Kantoff explains the findings from a randomized phase II study of PROSTVAC-VF vaccine. The study found that patients with metastatic prostate cancer who received a vaccine of harmless poxviruses engineered to spur an immune system attack on prostate tumor cells lived substantially longer than patients who received a placebo vaccine. Credit: Chris Ingalls

At the three-year point after the study, 30 percent of the PROSTVAC-VF patients were alive, versus 17 percent of the control group. The median survival of the vaccine group was 24.5 months, compared to 16 months for the control group, an 8.5-month increase. Patients tolerated the vaccine well; only a small number experienced side effects such as fatigue, fevers, and nausea.

"Although this study is relatively small, it offers encouraging evidence of a clinically meaningful benefit from this approach," says principal investigator and lead author Philip Kantoff, MD, of Dana-Farber, who helped design the trial. Investigators are planning a phase III trial that will enroll about 600 patients to further evaluate the vaccine's effectiveness.

Explore further: New tool to probe cancer's molecular make-up

Provided by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Prostate cancer vaccines more effective with hormone therapy

Jul 10, 2008

Among patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, the addition of hormone therapy following vaccine treatment improved overall survival compared with either treatment alone or when the vaccine followed hormone treatment, ...

Clinical trial evaluating brain cancer vaccine is underway

Oct 19, 2007

A clinical trial evaluating a brain cancer vaccine in patients with newly diagnosed brain cancer has begun at NYU Medical Center. The study will evaluate the addition of the vaccine following standard therapy with surgery ...

Leukemia vaccine tested in clinical trials

Dec 11, 2007

U.S. scientists say patients responding to a new peptide vaccine for leukemia enjoyed a median remission more than three times longer than non-responders.

Recommended for you

Exercising restraint to stall tumor growth

2 minutes ago

Many proteins undergo an assembly line-style process of glycosylation as they travel from a cellular structure called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi apparatus and on through its various compartments, ...

New tool to probe cancer's molecular make-up

23 hours ago

Scientists have shown how to better identify and measure vital molecules that control cell behaviour – paving the way for improved tools for diagnosis, prediction and monitoring of cancer.

Mayo Clinic offers at-home colon cancer test

Aug 26, 2014

Mayo Clinic is taking another step toward making detection of colorectal cancer as convenient as possible, announcing Monday an at-home kit that arrives and is sent back in the mail, stool sample included.

User comments : 0