New clinical trial opens to determine safety and efficacy of PROSTVAC, nivolumab and ipilimumab in men with localized prostate cancer


Prostate cancer is a slow-growing malignancy of a gland in the male reproductive system. A new study is now open to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a treatment regimen that combines PROSTVAC with ipilimumab and/or nivolumab in men with localized prostate cancer who have elected to undergo surgical resection (prostatectomy). PROSTVAC, developed within the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, is a cancer vaccine that helps the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells, while ipilimumab and nivolumab block certain mechanisms and signals within the body that prevent the immune system from attacking tumor cells.

James L. Gulley, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, wants to determine if this combination of drugs is safe for patients and if it will boost immune cells’ ability to infiltrate the tumor. An initial group of men with advanced disease progressing on hormonal therapy will be tested with the combination first to determine safety. “This is one of the first trials to combine strategies to initiate an immune response (PROSTVAC and ipilimumab) with strategies to allow those immune cells to work better at the site of the tumor (nivolumab and ipiliumab),” says Dr. Gulley. Click here for more information on this clinical trial.

Summary Posted: 04/2017