A novel targeted therapy for prostate cancer appears safe and effective, according to the results of a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins University, MD.
Enoblituzumab is a monoclonal antibody targeting B7 homolog 3 (B7-H3), an antigen that is overexpressed on prostate cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies bind to a specific epitope on the surface of a target cell, which then allows the antibody—a white blood cell—to destroy the cancer cell. This specific antibody appears to be a double threat as it also causes antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, which recruits other immune cells to the particular target.
In the clinical trial, researchers enrolled 32 biological males with medium- to high-risk prostate cancer. All tumors included in the study were deemed operable. All patients were given enoblituzumab before prostatectomy and followed for 1 year.
“Overall, 12% of patients experienced grade 3 adverse events and no grade 4 events occurred,” the study, published in Nature Medicine, reported. In addition, 66% of study participants had no residual disease as indicated by a lack of detectible prostate-specific antigen levels at 1 year postprostatectomy.
“What this means is if these results can be replicated in a larger, randomized study, it opens the possibility that combining this therapy with local, curative-intent therapies like surgical prostate removal or radiation therapy, would allow this drug to potentially kill micrometastatic disease hiding elsewhere in the body, and therefore prevent a significant number of men from experiencing recurring disease. That could be a paradigm shift in prostate cancer,” lead author Eugene Shenderov, MD, PhD, told Science Daily.
Though these results are encouraging, researchers must move the pharmaceutical into a phase 3, randomized clinical trial to better understand the drug’s efficacy. Further studies with larger cohorts are being planned.