Yervoy Fails to Shut Down Prostate Cancer but Could Be Effective in a Combo Therapy

Yervoy Fails to Shut Down Prostate Cancer but Could Be Effective in a Combo Therapy
Although the anti-CTLA-4 agent Yervoy (ipilimumab) opens the door to more anti-tumor T-cells entering a prostate-cancer tumor, the treatment produces little patient benefit, a clinical trial indicates. Yerboy activates the immune system by going after the CTLA-4 protein receptor that slows immune-system activity. But prostate cancer responds to Yerboy by increasing the expression of two other immune checkpoint molecules, PD-L1 and VISTA. And both send a don't-eat-me signal to immune cells. That reaction is why Yerboy, by itself, offers little patient benefit. The study suggests that combining Yervoy with PD-1 and VISTA inhibitors could be a way to treat prostate cancer patients, however. The research, “VISTA is an inhibitory immune checkpoint that is increased after ipilimumab therapy in patients with prostate cancer,” was published in Nature Medicine. "This paper highlights the importance of studying immune response longitudinally," lead author Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD, said in a press release. "Observing immune response at one point in time doesn't reflect what's going on because the immune system is so dynamic," said Sharma, a professor of genitourinary medical oncology and immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "So baseline sampling in prostate tumors shows minimal immune infiltrate. You can change that with ipilimumab, but what else changes becomes incredibly important." Prostate cancers have low numbers of T-cells, a kind of white blood cell that can recognize and kill cancer
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