Development of PROSTVAC immunotherapy in prostate cancer

Future Oncol. 2015;11(15):2137-48. doi: 10.2217/fon.15.120.


PROSTVAC immunotherapy is a heterologous prime-boost regimen of two different recombinant pox-virus vectors; vaccinia as the primary immunotherapy, followed by boosters employing fowlpox, to provoke immune responses against prostate-specific antigen. Both vectors contain transgenes for prostate-specific antigen and a triad of T-cell costimulatory molecules (TRICOM). In a placebo-controlled Phase II trial of men with minimally symptomatic, chemotherapy-naive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, PROSTVAC was well tolerated and associated with a 44% reduction in death. With a novel mechanism of action, and excellent tolerability, PROSTVAC has the potential to dramatically alter the treatment landscape of prostate cancer, not only as a monotherapy, but also in combination with other novel agents, such as immune check point inhibitors and novel androgen receptor blockers. A Phase III trial recently completed accrual.

Keywords: PROSTVAC; pox virus immunotherapy; prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
  • Cancer Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Ipilimumab
  • Male
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / genetics
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / immunology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / therapeutic use*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics


  • AR protein, human
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Ipilimumab
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen