"Our study has found that immunotherapy can benefit a subset of men with advanced, otherwise untreatable prostate cancer, and these are most likely to include patients who have specific DNA fix mutations within their tumours", said Professor Johann de Bono, director of the Drug Development Unit at The ICR and at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
"Our study has found that immunotherapy can benefit a subset of men with advanced, otherwise untreatable prostate cancer, and these are most likely to include patients who have specific DNA fix mutations within their tumors", he said.
More than a third of men with a very advanced form of the cancer were still alive, and one in 10 had not seen the cancer grow, after a year on the drug pembrolizumab, the study found.
Professor Johann de Bono says, "I have these men who are dying, with weeks to months to live, whom we gave this drug to and had complete responses". This is for the first time that an immunotherapy has shown to be beneficial for men who suffer with prostate cancer that is responsible for the death of more people in the United Kingdom than the breast cancer.
Visit the American Cancer Society for more on prostate cancer. Black patients experienced higher rates of several hormonal-based toxicities, such as hyperglycemia, hypokalemia, and hot flashes, "suggesting perhaps a greater exposure risk to this medicine", George said.
Prostate cancer affects 1 in 9 men and is the most common non-skin cancer in America, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. While just 5 percent men who were a part of the trail actually saw their cancer to shrink or disappear after receiving the treatment, many of those had heavily mutated cancers. All participants had metastatic, recurrent prostate cancer and were treated with the anti-hormone therapy abiraterone and the steroid prednisone.
The trial had 258 men with prostate cancer getting immunotherapy.
"Our examine has discovered that immunotherapy can profit a subset of males with superior, in any other case untreatable prostate most cancers, and these are most definitely to incorporate sufferers who've particular DNA restore mutations inside their tumours".
Functional DNA repair constantly works in every cell of the body to fix damage, much of which happens during cell division.
If patients who can respond to immunotherapy are identified, some of them may be able to avoid treatments that come with unwanted side effects.
Researchers found those with the best response had types of prostate cancer with "ultra-mutant cancer cells" which change their genetic make-up quickly.
"One of the major challenges with immunotherapy is that we don't have many reliable tests to pick out who will benefit", Workman said.