Therapeutic Vaccines for Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is the most common, noncutaneous cancer for men in the U.S., leading to more than 30,000 deaths a year. Vaccines for prostate cancer, which for several years have been shown to generate immunologic responses, are beginning to show significant clinical promise.

At present, numerous therapeutic options are being investigated, including autologous and allogeneic whole-tumor cell vaccines, dendritic cell vaccines, and poxvirus-based vaccines. Advances in basic immunology have translated into new, more complex therapeutic strategies. The findings from current trials and the demonstrated potential to combine vaccines with conventional therapies herald a promising future for the treatment of prostate cancer.

This review highlights recent advances and clinical trials in immunotherapy for prostate cancer, along with current thoughts on immunologic and clinical monitoring of these trials.

Review by Christopher P. Tarassoff, Philip M. Arlen, James L. Gulley

Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA