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Sipuleucel-T in the treatment of prostate cancer: an evidence-based review of its place in therapy

Authors Graff JN, Chamberlain ED

Received 16 October 2014

Accepted for publication 11 November 2014

Published 18 December 2014 Volume 2015:10 Pages 1—10

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CE.S54712

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gulshan Sharma


Julie N Graff,1,2 Erin D Chamberlain3

1Portland VA Medical Center, 2Knight Cancer Institute, 3Department of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA


Abstract: Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is the lethal form of cancer of the prostate. Five new agents that prolong survival in this group have emerged in the past 5 years, and sipuleucel-T is among them. Sipuleucel-T is the only immunotherapy shown to improve survival in prostate cancer. It is currently indicated in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients, as it has never shown a direct cancer effect. This paper describes the process of creating the sipuleucel-T product from the manufacturing and patient aspects. It discusses the four placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of sipuleucel-T, focusing on survival and adverse events. There are three RCTs in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, all of which showed improved overall survival without meaningful decreases in symptoms, tumor volumes, or prostate-specific antigen levels. One RCT in castration-sensitive, biochemically relapsed prostate cancer attempted to find a decrease in biochemical failure, but that endpoint was not reached. Adverse events in all four of these studies centered around cytokine release. This paper also reviews a Phase II study of sipuleucel-T given neoadjuvantly that speaks to its mechanism of action. Additionally, there is a registry study of sipuleucel-T that has been used to evaluate immunological parameters of the product in men ≥80 years of age and men who had previously been treated with palliative radiation. Attempts to find early markers of response to sipuleucel-T are described. Further ongoing studies that explore the efficacy of sipuleucel-T in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors and second-generation hormonal therapies that are summarized. Finally, the only published economic analysis of sipuleucel-T is discussed.

Keywords: prostate cancer, sipuleucel-T, efficacy, economic analysis

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