Sipuleucel-T: A success in vaccine-based cancer therapy

Kate Wright


Sipuleucel-T is an immunotherapy treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The therapy was approved by the FDC in 2009, the use of this vaccine-based treatment shows promising results in increasing life expectancy for men diagnosed with mCRPC. An early double-blind trial (IMPACT) showed the life-prolonging effect of the treatment, there was an approximate 22% reduction in risk of death in Sipuleucel-T patients, compared with those in the placebo group. The researchers determined overall survival and adjusted for base levels of serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as lactate dehydrogenase. Sipuleucel-T patients also reported more adverse events (chills, fever, headache) compared to the placebo group. In the years following the approval of this therapy, data collected in PROCEED, a registry of men with mCRPC, support these original findings. The overall survival (OS) rate did decrease compared to the original trial study; this can be attributed to the differences in criteria used to find eligible patients for the trial and the broader types of patients added to the registry. Another study (2015) concluded that Sipuleucel-T could be administered alongside abiraterone acetate (AA) without altering immune parameters that correlate with Sipuleucel-T’s clinical benefit. Each of these findings support the use of Sipuleucel-T as a life-prolonging therapy for men with mCRPC.

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