Immunotherapy is being researched to fight prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer, notoriously resistant to immunotherapy due to its immunologically cool nature, triggers two pathways to chill an immune attack after one immunotherapy drug fires up the immune system, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in Nature Medicine.
Based on their findings, the researchers launched a clinical trial for stage IV prostate cancer in March combining two drugs that target separate brakes on the immune system. The checkpoint inhibitors largely failed individually against the disease. Their results also implicate for the first time on a human tumor a third brake called VISTA in potentially inhibiting immune response.
“We’ve known that prostate cancer is immunologically cold, or quiet, with very little penetration of the tumors or their surrounding microenvironment by immune cells,” said study leader Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology.
“Our study explored whether we could increase immune cell infiltration by combining the anti-hormonal drug Lupron with two rounds of the checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab before surgery in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer,” Sharma said.
Read full article: Study Provides Path for New Immunotherapy Approaches to Prostate Cancer
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