Positive Early Results for Prostate Cancer Therapy Leads to Expanded Trial

prostate cancer research

Douglas McNeel, MD, PhD, professor, and Glenn Liu, MD, professor, both of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care, were quoted in a news release and media coverage of positive early-stage results of a clinical trial for prostate cancer treatment. 

The Phase 1b pilot study tested an immune-activating DNA vaccine called MVI-816 produced by Madison Vaccines Incorporated, a spinoff company founded by Dr. McNeel to bring the technology from bench to bedside, in combination with checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab to dose an expanded cohort of 20 patients with metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer. 

Dr. Liu, who is principal investigator for the trial, stated that early results show a decline in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, evidence of tumor shrinkage, and an increased immune system response. 

“As an oncologist, I am pleased to be able to further explore the combination of MVI-816 and pembrolizumab in 20 additional patients," said Dr. Liu. MVI-816 was designed to induce immune responses to cells expressing prostatic acid phosphatase (PA), an antigen specific to prostate cells. 

"We believe the addition of MVI-816 activates and increases the number of immune system T cells in the prostate tumor, and then the PD-1 inhibitor (Keytruda) enables these T cells to more efficiently kill the cancer," said Dr. McNeel.

 

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Photo: Department of Medicine / Clint Thayer