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Immunotherapy in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer
Department of Urology, New York University School of Medicine, NYU, New York, USA
Oct  2011 (Vol.  18, Issue  5, Pages( 5865 - 5874)
PMID: 22018147


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  • Prostate cancer is a complex disease, and treatment selection is informed by numerous variables depending on the stage of disease. Moreover, patient expectations and the impact of treatment-related adverse events may influence treatment choices. Available treatment options over the course of the disease have included surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. This complexity requires an understanding of a wide range of treatment options and the support of a multidisciplinary team that involves urologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and medical oncologists. Collaboration among these physicians allows for a comprehensive treatment strategy that addresses the individual needs of the patient throughout the course of his disease. Prior to 2004, treatment options for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) were limited to therapies for palliation of pain and reduction of skeletal-related events. Over the past 7 years, four therapeutic options—three within the last 2 years—that provide a survival benefit in this setting have been approved. These therapies have diverse mechanisms, perhaps reflecting the complex nature of advanced prostate cancer. Among them is sipuleucel-T, the first autologous immunotherapy approved for any cancer. This review will discuss the rapidly changing treatment environment for metastatic CRPC and the increased exploration of immunotherapeutic approaches to advanced prostate cancer.