Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Combination Hormone/Vaccine Therapy For Prostate Cancer May Benefit Patients Whose Disease Returns

Date:
July 28, 2005
Source:
NIH/National Cancer Institute
Summary:
A new study finds that a cancer vaccine combined with hormone-deprivation therapy can help patients with recurrence of prostate cancer. The results of this clinical trial, led by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appear in the August 2005 issue of the Journal of Urology.

A new study finds that a cancer vaccine combined with hormone-deprivation therapy can help patients with recurrence of prostate cancer. The results of this clinical trial, led by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appear in the August 2005 issue of the Journal of Urology.*

This phase II trial (a trial that usually tests the effectiveness of a drug) was designed to treat patients with nonmetastatic prostate cancer who were experiencing rising levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which can indicate recurrence of the disease. Prostate cancer often progresses several years after treatment with hormone-deprivation therapy .

This is the first study to combine antiandrogen therapy (reducing the amount of androgens, which are male sex hormones) and a cancer vaccine for treating prostate cancer, and also the first randomized clinical trial in this population of prostate cancer patients. Cancer vaccines are designed either to treat existing cancers or to prevent the development of cancer. The experimental vaccine used in this study was designed to strengthen the body's natural defenses against prostate cancer.

"The question is, what do you do for someone who has already failed standard therapy with hormones?" said Philip M. Arlen, M.D., of NCI's Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology. "This study was designed to answer that question and examined a population of patients whose cancers were resistant to hormone therapy, had no metastatic disease that was observable by computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, but had a rising PSA score, an indicator of recurrence."

NCI scientists randomly assigned 42 prostate cancer patients to receive either vaccine or second-line antiandrogen treatment, which consisted of the hormone nilutamide. Nilutamide works by blocking the effects of excess testosterone, a hormone produced by the body that can promote the growth of cancer cells. After the first six months of treatment, participants in both arms of the study -- who had rising PSA levels but no evidence of metastatic disease -- could choose to receive the other treatment in combination with their first study treatment.

There were no serious side effects from the vaccine, but some of the participants receiving nilutamide experienced severe adverse reactions involving lung toxicities, an uncommon side effect sometimes associated with the drug. Median time before the treatment started to fail was 9.9 months for individuals who received vaccine alone compared to 7.6 months for patients on nilutamide alone, a difference not considered statistically significant. However, 12 of the 21 vaccine recipients had nilutamide added to their treatment regimens after six months. The patients in that group experienced an additional median time of 13.9 months until treatment failure, for a total of 25.9 months from the beginning of their treatments.

The positive effects of combining antiandrogen therapy to vaccine "may be because the vaccine acts to 'prime' the immune system, and when you add the hormone treatment, it allowed the vaccine to work even better," explained Arlen. "Our study indicates there may well be a synergy between immunotherapy with vaccines and hormone deprivation."

The rationale for testing a vaccine/hormone therapy combination came from clinical observations showing that hormone therapy increases the number of immune cells reaching the prostate gland, thereby allowing vaccines to work more effectively.

Arlen and his NCI colleagues are planning a follow-up study using the vaccine and antiandrogen at the same time, instead of sequentially, in similar patients. They will be testing a more potent, newer prostate cancer vaccine in the next study. The NCI scientists will also use a different hormone treatment called flutamide, which has fewer and less serious side effects than nilutamide.

"Our goal moving forward is to introduce the vaccines into earlier treatment stages," Arlen said. "We have shown that this therapy is safe and well-tolerated. Next we want to keep this population of patients either stable or improving, and also prevent metastatic disease. Achieving that would be a tremendous benefit in terms of their quality of life."

For more information about cancer, visit the NCI Web site at http://www.cancer.gov or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4 CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

###

* Arlen PM , Gulley, JL, Todd N, Lieberman R, Steinberg SM, Morin S, Bastian A, Marte J, Tsang K, Beetham P, Grosenbach DW, Schlom J, Dahut W. Antiandrogen, vaccine and combination therapy in patients with nonmetastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer. Journal of Urology. August 2005.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Cancer Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Cancer Institute. "Combination Hormone/Vaccine Therapy For Prostate Cancer May Benefit Patients Whose Disease Returns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063332.htm>.
NIH/National Cancer Institute. (2005, July 28). Combination Hormone/Vaccine Therapy For Prostate Cancer May Benefit Patients Whose Disease Returns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063332.htm
NIH/National Cancer Institute. "Combination Hormone/Vaccine Therapy For Prostate Cancer May Benefit Patients Whose Disease Returns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063332.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins