NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 3, 2006 • Volume 3 / Number 38 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Clinical TrialFeatured Clinical Trial

Prostate Cancer Vaccine Trial

Name of the Trial
Phase I Pilot Study of Vaccine Therapy Comprising Priming Vaccinations of Vaccinia-PSA-TRICOM and Recombinant Fowlpox GM-CSF (rF-GM-CSF) Followed by Boosting Vaccinations of Fowlpox-PSA-TRICOM with or without rF-GM-CSF in Patients with Progressive or Locally Recurrent Prostate Cancer (NCI-05-C-0017). See the protocol summary at

Dr. James Gulley Dr. James Gulley
Principal Investigator
Dr. James Gulley, NCI Center for Cancer Research

Why This Trial Is Important
Excluding non-melanoma skin cancers, prostate cancer is the most common cancer - and the third most deadly - among North American men. Despite advances in early detection and treatment, the disease recurs in 30 to 40 percent of patients. Although several treatment options exist for recurrent disease, there is no consensus on which is best and additional treatment options are needed.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein made by the prostate gland, is often overproduced in prostate cancer. Several studies have shown that PSA-containing vaccines can stimulate the immune system to produce T lymphocytes capable of killing prostate cancer cells. Moreover, some studies in mice suggest that injecting vaccines directly into tumors dramatically boosts the immune response, killing more tumor cells.

In this study, researchers are testing this approach in patients with prostate cancer that has recurred locally or progressed following previous treatment. Besides PSA, the vaccines researchers are using contain T-cell costimulatory molecules to further boost the body's immune response.

"We believe that by placing the vaccine directly into the tumor, the resulting increase in local immune activation will be like shining a laser on the tumor, making it a better target for the T cells," says Dr. Gulley.

Who Can Join This Trial
Researchers seek to enroll up to 30 men aged 18 or over with prostate cancer that has recurred locally after previous radiotherapy or cryotherapy or has progressed despite androgen deprivation therapy. See the list of eligibility criteria at

Study Sites and Contact Information
This study is taking place at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md. For more information, call the NCI Clinical Studies Support Center (CSSC) toll free at 1-888-NCI-1937. The call is confidential.

An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at