A Real Role for Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer

Immunotherapy has a major and expanding role in the treatment of cancer, including advanced prostate cancer. Over time there have been a number of naysayers as the immunotherapy Provenge has played the role whipping boy by critics. The common criticism leveled at Provenge can be summed up simply, “It doesn’t work.” The plain truth is that this criticism is not true. Provenge does extend life, but it does not affect a man’s PSA nor does it affect radiologic progression. However, it does extend life, the most important factor for us with advanced prostate cancer. Why is Provenge (and immunotherapy) not [...]

Prostvac In Combination With Yervoy Yields A Survival Advantage

There is some really exciting news on the horizon around immunotherapy for advanced prostate cancer. Bavarian Nordic, the pharmaseutical company that has, along with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), been running clinical trials on Prostvac has unoffically let it been known that Prostvac when combined with another investigational immunologic therapy, Yervoy, has helped to significantly extend survival in men with advanced prostate cancer. This finding which will formally be announced this Thursday at the ASCO GU Meeting in Orlando Florida results from a small early-stage trial conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute. This very small study of 30 men [...]

The Ipilimumab (Yervoy) Results – A Failure that Should Not Have Been A Failure

Last October at the European Cancer Congress 2013 there was a release of data from a phase 3 study of Ipilimumab (CA 184-043) that showed that it might be effective in treating castration-resistant prostate cancer in men who have a low burden of disease; however it failed to show at the required 95% confidence level required for FDA approval that it was a generally effective treatment for prostate cancer. Ipilimumab (Ipi or Yervoy) is already approved and commonly used for the treatment of Melanoma. Ipi is an immune therapy that differs in its mode of action from the already approved [...]

Yervoy (ipilimumab) Fails to Extend Survival in Men with mCRP Who Failed Chemo

Some bad news was reported today. Results from the Phase 3 randomized, double-blind clinical trial (Study 043) comparing Yervoy 10 mg/kg (ipilimumab) (n=399) to placebo (n=400) following radiation in men with advanced metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who have received prior treatment with docetaxel showed no increase in overall survival. Yervoy is an immunotherapy which was designed to take the brakes off of the immune system. Unfortunately, despite its success with Melanoma it does not seem to work for men in this disease state. The study’s primary endpoint of overall survival (OS) did not reach statistical significance (HR = 0.85; [...]

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