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Highlights from the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2022 Annual Meeting, Part 2
Early results of a new immunotherapy agent in localized prostate cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held its Annual Meeting in Chicago in early June. PCF Young Investigator Eugene Shenderov, MD, of Johns Hopkins, presented early results of a new immunotherapy agent in localized prostate cancer.

Patients diagnosed with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer have treatment options such as surgery or radiation therapy. However, the cancer can return years later: by some estimates, upwards of 50% of patients with high-risk prostate cancer have a recurrence after local treatment. More treatment options are needed to potentially decrease the risk of recurrence and spread beyond the prostate region.

Checkpoint immunotherapy is a type of treatment that activates a patient’s own immune system to fight their cancer by blocking immune-suppressive “checkpoint” signals. Research has identified a molecule on the surface of prostate cancer cells called B7-H3 that is associated with rapid recurrence and early metastasis. A compound that targets B7-H3 called enoblituzumab may have the potential to unleash the immune system, ultimately leading to tumor cell death.

This phase 2 clinical trial included 32 patients with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer who had planned to undergo prostatectomy. Patients received enoblituzumab weekly for 6 weeks prior to surgery. The results were encouraging: 31% of patients had PSA decreases of at least 10% before surgery. 66% of men had a PSA of zero one year after surgery. Examination of prostate tissue after removal showed evidence of immune activity. In terms of safety, 12% of patients had severe adverse events requiring intervention.

What this could mean for patients: A new approach to using immunotherapy prior to surgery appears promising for patients with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer. More studies are needed to determine efficacy and safety.

Read about lutetium-PSMA clinical trials in Part 1 of the ASCO 2022 Annual Meeting highlights here.

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