“An experimental therapeutic vaccine from Danish drugmaker Bavarian Nordic helped significantly extend survival in patients with advanced prostate cancer, according to results of a small early-stage trial conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
“Shares of Bavarian Nordic closed up almost 12 percent in Copenhagen after the company released the data on Tuesday.
“The study involved 30 patients with prostate cancer that had failed to benefit from standard treatments that reduce levels of testosterone, the male hormone that fuels the cancer.
“Patients were treated with the company’s Prostvac vaccine, in addition to escalating doses of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s Yervoy, an approved injectable treatment for advanced melanoma that works by taking the brakes off the body’s immune system.”
The gist: A new vaccine treatment called Prostvac might help treat advanced prostate cancer patients whose tumors are resistant to hormone therapy and who have had either surgery or radiation. Prostvac boosts a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. A small clinical trial showed that Prostvac is safe and can be given to patients earlier. More research is needed to see just how well the vaccine works.
“Aiming to increase treatment options for prostate cancer patients who have an early relapse, investigators from a multi-institutional cooperative group — including Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey — have demonstrated that a vaccine therapy that stimulates the body’s own immune defenses can be given safely and earlier in the course of prostate cancer progression.
“As part of a Phase II clinical trial, adult patients with advanced prostate cancer (as evidenced by two rising prostate-specific antigen or PSA values and no visible metastasis) whose cancer is resistant to hormone therapy and had either surgery or radiation were recruited from member institutions in the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. In their work, published in the current online edition of European Urology, ECOG-ACRIN investigators examined two different experimental treatment options.
“In step one, patients were treated with PROSTVAC-V/TRICOM and PROSTVAC-F/TRICOM. PROSTVAC-V is derived from a vaccinia virus that was used for many years to vaccinate against smallpox. This virus is modified to produce a PSA protein that helps focus the body’s immune response to the PSA in the prostate tumor. In addition, it is modified to produce three other proteins that help increase an immune cell’s ability to destroy its target (TRICOM). PROSTVAC-F is made from the fowlpox virus, which is found in birds and not known to cause any human disease. It contains the same genetic material as PROSTAC-V, but is given multiple times to further boost the body’s immune system.”
“There are new treatment options for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) but finding the optimal strategy and selecting the right patient is still fraught with challenges and difficulties, according to uro-oncology experts during a thematic session at the 29th Annual EAU Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.
“ ‘With many prostate cancer patients hoping for a better life without symptoms of the disease, the aim is to identify which new drugs, or a combination of these drugs, can offer prolong survival or effectively palliate bone disease,’ said Prof. Maria De Santis who chaired Thematic Session 10.
“The session focussed on castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) which is often considered one of the toughest challenges in uro-oncology since despite repeated treatments the disease accelerates or progresses with severe impact on quality of life (QoL).”
Editor’s note: This article is about an event at a urology conference in Sweden. During the event, participants discussed the latest in prostate cancer treatment, with a focus on castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
KVISTGAARD, Denmark — Bavarian Nordic A/S (OMX: BAVA) today announced that the Company plans to conduct an interim analysis of the on-going PROSPECT Phase 3 trial of PROSTVAC(r) in prostate cancer patients …
In April of 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first immunotherapy for prostate cancer. Sipuleucel-T (Provenge), an autologous active cellular immunotherapy (a cancer vaccine), was approved for men with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Sipuleucel-T was also the first active cellular immunotherapy approved by the FDA and, at the time of approval, only the second approved drug for mCRPC patients. Prior to approval, the only other option for these patients was the chemotherapy docetaxel. Continue reading…