Current Urology Reports

, 20:64 | Cite as

Immunotherapy in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Past and Future Strategies for Optimization

  • Melissa A. Reimers
  • Kathryn E. Slane
  • Russell K. PachynskiEmail author
Prostate Cancer (S Prasad, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Prostate Cancer


Purpose of Review

To date, prostate cancer has been poorly responsive to immunotherapy. In the current review, we summarize and discuss the current literature on the use of vaccine therapy and checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Recent Findings

Sipuleucel-T currently remains the only FDA-approved immunotherapeutic agent for prostate cancer. Single-agent phase 3 vaccine trials with GVAX and PROSTVAC have failed to demonstrate survival benefit to date. Clinical trials using combination approaches, including combination PROSTVAC along with a neoantigen vaccine and checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy, are ongoing. Checkpoint inhibitor monotherapy clinical trials have demonstrated limited efficacy in advanced prostate cancer, and combination approaches and molecular patient selection are currently under investigation.


The optimal use of vaccine therapy and checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer remains to be determined. Ongoing clinical trials will continue to inform future clinical practice.


Metastatic prostate cancer Castration resistance Immunotherapy Vaccines Checkpoint inhibitors Neoantigen vaccine 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Melissa A. Reimers and Kathryn Slane each declares no potential conflicts of interest.

Russell K. Pachynski reports personal fees from Sanofi, EMD Serono, Pfizer, Jounce, Dendreon, Bayer, Genomic Health, Merck, Genentech/Roche, and AstraZeneca; research collaboration/support from Janssen; and institutional support from Genentech/Roche.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. Reimers
    • 1
  • Kathryn E. Slane
    • 1
  • Russell K. Pachynski
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of OncologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs (CHiiPs)Washington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Siteman Cancer CenterWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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