Phase I study of intraprostatic vaccine administration in men with locally recurrent or progressive prostate cancer
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The primary end point of this study was to determine the safety and feasibility of intraprostatic administration of PSA-TRICOM vaccine [encoding transgenes for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and 3 costimulatory molecules] in patients with locally recurrent or progressive prostate cancer. This trial was a standard 3 + 3 dose escalation with 6 patients each in cohorts 4 and 5 to gather more immunologic data. Nineteen of 21 patients enrolled had locally recurrent prostate cancer after definitive radiation therapy, and 2 had no local therapy. All cohorts received initial subcutaneous vaccination with recombinant vaccinia (rV)-PSA-TRICOM and intraprostatic booster vaccinations with recombinant fowlpox (rF)-PSA-TRICOM. Cohorts 3–5 also received intraprostatic rF-GM-CSF. Cohort 5 received additional subcutaneous boosters with rF-PSA-TRICOM and rF-GM-CSF. Patients had pre- and post-treatment prostate biopsies, and analyses of peripheral and intraprostatic immune cells were performed. There were no dose-limiting toxicities, and the maximum tolerated dose was not reached. The most common grade 2 adverse events were fever (38 %) and subcutaneous injection site reactions (33 %); the single grade 3 toxicity was transient fever. Overall, 19 of 21 patients on trial had stable (10) or improved (9) PSA values. There was a marked increase in CD4+ (p = 0.0002) and CD8+ (p = 0.0002) tumor infiltrates in post- versus pre-treatment tumor biopsies. Four of 9 patients evaluated had peripheral immune responses to PSA or NGEP. Intraprostatic administration of PSA-TRICOM is safe and feasible and can generate a significant immunologic response. Improved serum PSA kinetics and intense post-vaccination inflammatory infiltrates were seen in the majority of patients. Clinical trials examining clinical end points are warranted.