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.