Active immunotherapy for prostate cancer
Systemic treatment of patients with metastatic prostate cancer is mainly based on hormone therapy to inhibit testosterone production and activity, but nearly all patients develop drug resistance within 12-18 months. Median survival rate of patients with hormone-resistant prostate cancer is limited to 6–8 months, and standard treatment of such patients is usually palliative and unable to prolong survival. Recently, a lot of attention has been focused on immunotherapy-based approaches to treat prostate cancer, which engages patient’s immune system to combat and destroy cancer cells.
Our clinical experience suggests that cell vaccination of patients with stage IV prostate cancer can achieve various degrees of clinical responses (complete or partial response, disease stabilization) of more than 6 months’ duration in a significant proportion of vaccinees. Although our preliminary clinical results are very encouraging, we stress that only a small number of patients with very advanced disease were subjected to our novel immunotherapeutic treatment, such that more comprehensive clinical studies are needed to assess full clinical benefits of cell vaccination in patients with prostate cancer.