Wiesbaden, Germany – Last night Bavarian Nordic dropped the unfortunate news that the phase 3 PROSPECT trial exploring the PROSTVAC vaccine in combination with GM-CSF in asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) was futile.
Source: Bavarian Nordic
Once you miss the overall survival (OS) endpoint, that’s it folks – there’s no other choice but to say the therapy failed, harsh though that may sound.
There are, however, a number of important points to consider from here that are worthy of further discussion.
Here, we post an analytical review and look at a number of factors that could have impacted the outcome. It’s rarely one simple thing because the immune system is highly complex and multi-faceted.
Hopefully there will be important learnings from this study that will advance the IO and prostate cancer fields.
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We have been following the results of the checkpoint inhibitors for several years now, first with ipilimumab (Yervoy) and lately with anti-PD1 and PD-L1 inhibitors such as nivolumab, pembrolizumab and MPDL3280A. Irrespective of the antibody used, the best results we’ve seen have in melanoma, lung and bladder, but some tumour types such as colon and prostate cancers have barely been responsive at all.
Why is that?
Can we find ways to make non-responsive solid tumours responsive to immune therapies, and if so, what strategies could we employ to enable improved responses and outcomes?
At the ASCO Genitourinary (GU) meeting in Orlando this weekend there were some interesting hints of what might be possible in the not too distant future.
To learn more about this phenomenon, we conducted an interview with a leading cancer immunologist to find out what they are doing to make a difference in the GU space.
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