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Patnaik Highlights Evolution Toward Immunotherapy in Prostate Cancer

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Monday, Jul 18, 2016

Akash Patnaik, MD, PhD

Akash Patnaik, MD, PhD

The role of immunotherapy may have had a slower uptick in patients with prostate cancer compared with other tumor types, but progress is being made, explains Akash Patnaik, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine.

during the meeting, Patnaik discussed immunotherapy and personalized medicine tactics in the field of prostate cancer, as well as the work that needs to be done with existing targeted therapies and biomarker development.

OncLive: What are the latest advancements with immunotherapy and personalized medicine in prostate cancer?

Patnaik: It is a very exciting time in oncology right now, with advances in precision medicine and a framework for understanding how some of these therapies that target specific aberrations in the tumor can ultimately lead to clinical benefit. There is also tremendous excitement and momentum with immunotherapies in a range of cancers—both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

It will be challenging to understand how we can think about combinatorial approaches to enhance the efficacy and immunoresponsiveness of these cancers.

Are there immunotherapy combinations that are being studied right now in prostate cancer that have potential?

The only FDA-approved agent presently is sipuleucel-T, which is a vaccine-based therapy that has been shown to have a survival benefit in a phase III clinical trial. One challenge that remains with sipuleucel-T is determining the patients who are likely to benefit from this therapy. We do not have a biomarker yet that can identify the subset of patients who will respond.
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