Dr. Sharma Discusses Immunotherapy in Prostate Cancer

Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD
Published: Thursday, Oct 04, 2018



Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD, professor of Immunology in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses immunotherapy in prostate cancer.

Immunotherapy has yet to find a foothold in the treatment of prostate cancer. Sharma says that in a recently-published paper in Nature, anti–CTLA-4 was given in a pre-surgical trial. Patients who were scheduled for surgery were given an anti–CTLA-4 agent and then their tumors were evaluated. Sharma says that this is one of her preferred ways of evaluating new agents, because there is access to all the tumor samples.

At baseline, there is not a lot of PD-1/PD-L1 expression in prostate cancer, Sharma explains. After anti–CTLA-4 was given, an increase in PD-1/PD-L1 expression was observed, suggesting that it can evolve over time. Sharma says that this should have been expected, as immune response is something that evolves over time—it is not static. Based on these data, Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to a trial testing the combination of an anti–CTLA-4 and anti–PD-1 agent. Sharma says from her own experience, patients with prostate cancer have done extremely well with this combination.  


Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD, professor of Immunology in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses immunotherapy in prostate cancer.

Immunotherapy has yet to find a foothold in the treatment of prostate cancer. Sharma says that in a recently-published paper in Nature, anti–CTLA-4 was given in a pre-surgical trial. Patients who were scheduled for surgery were given an anti–CTLA-4 agent and then their tumors were evaluated. Sharma says that this is one of her preferred ways of evaluating new agents, because there is access to all the tumor samples.

At baseline, there is not a lot of PD-1/PD-L1 expression in prostate cancer, Sharma explains. After anti–CTLA-4 was given, an increase in PD-1/PD-L1 expression was observed, suggesting that it can evolve over time. Sharma says that this should have been expected, as immune response is something that evolves over time—it is not static. Based on these data, Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to a trial testing the combination of an anti–CTLA-4 and anti–PD-1 agent. Sharma says from her own experience, patients with prostate cancer have done extremely well with this combination.  



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Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Clinical Interchange™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersOct 31, 20182.0
35th Annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium: Innovative Cancer Therapy for Tomorrow® Clinical Vignette SeriesJan 31, 20192.0
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