New therapy for prostate cancer combines hormone and vaccine treatments

A new treatment for prostate cancer utilizes both vaccine and hormone therapies. It is currently undergoing a clinical trial examining its effectiveness in treating prostate cancer that is resistant to hormone therapy. The results in patients receiving combined treatment will be compared with results in those receiving only hormone therapy. Patients who are shown in tests to have rising prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, which indicate disease progression, without evidence of disease spread in imaging tests usually receive hormone therapy. However, PSA levels can continue to rise with the therapy. In the clinical trial, the hormone therapy flutamide will be combined with a new experimental vaccine called PROSTVAC VF, a virus that has been modified to produce a PSA protein to help the body’s immune response against the tumor and three more proteins that help increase the body’s own T-cell’s ability to destroy prostate cancer.