Targeted therapy for prostate cancer: The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center approach
Receptors, Growth Factor
Carcinoma of the prostate represents a wide range of diseases with differing prognoses. A key to selecting treatment depends on the ability to predict the natural history of the disease for the individual. Thus far, non-hormonal approaches have not demonstrated a survival advantage in randomized comparisons and, clearly, innovative approaches are needed. The clinical trials program developed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is based on specific manifestations and specific targets of the disease and the predicted prognosis, using prostate-specific antigen and acid phosphatase changes as biomarkers of progression and response. In patients with minimal disease who have received local treatments but progressed systemically, we are studying methods aimed at stimulating their immune systems either by nonspecific immunopotentiation or specific immunization to specific glycoprotein or carbohydrate targets on the cancer cells, or to anti-growth factor receptor antibody aimed at blocking the specific signalling pathways that contribute to hormonal failure. These and other approaches provide an opportunity to treat this disease while maintaining an acceptable quality of life for patients.