“The main message [from Dr. Hall’s presentation at the 2011 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium] is that we need to think about using sipuleucel-T early in men with prostate cancer who are asymptomatic but are castration-resistant and metastatic. “If there is going to be a benefit [of the vaccine], it will be optimal in this group,” said William Oh, MD, Professor of Urology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.
But many men in this state may not want to consider another treatment. “These patients have a rising PSA but otherwise feel well. They often consider the vaccine a hassle and don’t want to have six or seven visits in a 5-week period,” he continued.
Another message from Dr. Hall’s presentation is that the vaccine theoretically does not work well with prednisone or chemotherapy, so use of the vaccine should be considered before chemotherapy, Dr. Oh stated. ■
Disclosure: Dr. Oh is on the scientific advisory board for and receives research funding from Dendreon.
When sipuleucel-T (Provenge) was approved by FDA in April 2010, it was the first vaccine to be approved as a treatment for prostate cancer and was hailed as a major advance. Although sipuleucel-T is now reimbursable by Medicare, some physicians are not clear about when to use it, and patients who...