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Dr. Dorff on the Status of Immunotherapy in Prostate Cancer

Tanya B. Dorff, MD, associate clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, and head of the genitourinary cancers program at City of Hope, discusses the status of immunotherapy in prostate cancer.

Tanya B. Dorff, MD, associate clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, and head of the genitourinary cancers program at City of Hope, discusses the status of immunotherapy in prostate cancer.

In addition to research focused on patients in the metastatic hormone-sensitive setting as well as those in biochemical recurrence, efforts are being made with a specific focus on providing patients with more durable remissions without sacrificing quality of life. As this is a longer-term disease process, says Dorff, many of the newer studies are recording patient-reported outcomes, which is very important.

Immunotherapy is another area of opportunity although immune checkpoint inhibitors have not shown as substantial of a benefit in these patients as physicians would like. Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) is a form of immunotherapy that has demonstrated benefit, although modest in men with prostate cancer. Physicians are hoping that more research will lead to a game-changing immunotherapy for this patient population.

Studies are underway in which investigators are evaluating combinations of radiation with immunotherapy, immunotherapy with immunotherapy, as well as exploring which hormone therapies are the most immunogenic. Although it may take some time before these approaches are incorporated into clinical practice, Dorff anticipates that options will be available within the next 5 years.

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