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  1. Us TOO is one of the largest Prostate Cancer Education and Support organisations in the United States. Each month Us TOO publishes a monthly newsletter called the "Hotsheet". I would recommend that you sign up with Us TOO to get the Hotsheet emailed to you each month. Click here to read the December 2016 Hotsheet. I was interested in an article in the December 2016 Hotsheet about the results of a study of treatment with ipilimumab. Ipilimumab (trade name Yervoy), is a monoclonal antibody that works to activate the immune system by targeting CTLA-4, a protein receptor that downregulates the immune system. Ipilimumab is used to treat melanoma. Trials are now underway with other types of cancer, including prostate cancer. The study found that treatment with ipilimumab did not extend overall survival in asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer. The study found an increase in progression free survival and in PSA response rates in one of the patient subsets. There may be some prostate cancer patients who respond to treatment with ipilimumab. The lead investigator Dr Tomasz Beer said that "the biggest takeaway from the study is that ipilimumab used in unselected patients did not produce a clinical benefit for patients overall. If we better understand which patients have tumours that are more responsive to a drug like ipilimumab , it might be possible to demonstrate a clinical benefit. But in unselected patients we were just not able to see that."
  2. An excellent webinar by Dr Larry Fong of University of California, San Francisco
  3. Paul Edwards

    Ipilimumab - Severe Side Effects?

    Ipilimumab (brand name Yervoy) is an immunotherapy drug which has been approved for the treatment of melanoma. There are currently clinical trials being conducted to see whether Ipilimumab is effective in treating prostate cancer. The South Australian Medicines Evaluation Panel has provided data to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee about patients treated with Ipilimumab in South Australian public hospitals. Between 1 August 2013 to 8 December 2014, 56 patients were treated with Ipilimumab. 8 of these patients suffered severe refractory colitis as a side effect of their treatment with Ipilimumab and were admitted to hospital. The average stay in hospital for treatment of the side effects was 21 days. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee commented that it didn't expect as many serious adverse events when it approved Ipilimumab on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This emerging data may make it harder for Ipilimumab to be approved for the treatment of prostate cancer. Immunotherapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease. Melanoma: a type of skin cancer. Severe Refractory Colitis: Severe Bowel Inflammation which is resistant to treatment. Reference: http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/industry/listing/elements/pbac-meetings/psd/2015-07/ipilimumab-psd-july-2015
  4. Paul Edwards

    New Ipilimumab Trial in Australia

    Ipilimumab (brand name Yervoy) is an immunotherapy approach to the treatment of cancer. Ipilimumab was the first treatment ever proven to extend survival in patients with metastatic melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and has been approved by the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for that treatment. Ipilimumab was tested in two phase III trials as a treatment for advanced, castration-resistant prostate cancer. In the patients receiving Ipilimumab after docetaxel, the drug failed to improve overall survival. Results of the trial in which patients received Ipilimumab prior to chemotherapy are not yet available. Ipilimumab is also now being tested in several phase II trials. One of these trials is a “Safety and Efficacy Study of Ipilimumab 3 mg/kg Versus Ipilimumab 10 mg/kg in Subjects With Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer Who Are Chemotherapy Naive”. Details of this trial are available at the ClinicalTrials.gov site Identifier: NCT02279862. The trial is being conducted at 6 Australian locations in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. One of the Melbourne locations has commenced recruitment.
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