A pilot trial of pembrolizumab plus prostatic cryotherapy for men with newly diagnosed oligometastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer

Ashley E. Ross, Paula J. Hurley, Phuoc T. Tran, Steven P. Rowe, Benjamin Benzon, Tanya O. Neal, Carolyn Chapman, Rana Harb, Yelena Milman, Bruce J. Trock, Charles G. Drake, Emmanuel S. Antonarakis

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Background: Monotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors has generally been unsuccessful in men with advanced prostate cancer. Preclinical data support the notion that cryotherapy may improve immune-mediated and anti-tumor responses. The objective of this study was to assess the safety and feasibility of whole-prostate gland cryotherapy combined with pembrolizumab and androgen deprivation in men with oligometastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Methods: This single-institution, pilot trial recruited 12 patients with newly diagnosed oligometastatic prostate cancer between 2015 and 2016. Patients underwent whole-prostate cryoablation combined with short-term androgen deprivation (eight months) and pembrolizumab (6 doses). The primary clinical endpoints were the number of patients with a PSA level of <0.6 ng/mL at one year and the frequency of adverse events. Other outcome measures included progression-free survival and systemic therapy-free survival. Exploratory analyses included PD-L1 protein expression. Results: Forty two percent (5/12) of patients had a PSAs of <0.6 ng/mL at one year though only 2 of these patients had recovered their testosterone at this time point. Median progression-free survival was 14 months, and median systemic therapy-free survival was 17.5 months. PD-L1 expression was not detectable by IHC in patients with evaluable tissue. All adverse events were grade ≤2, and there were no apparent complications from cryotherapy. Conclusions: Whole-prostate cryoablation combined with short-term androgen deprivation and pembrolizumab treatment was well tolerated and no safety concerns were observed in men with oligometastatic prostate cancer. Though local disease appeared effectively treated in the majority of men, the regimen only infrequency led to sustained disease control following testosterone recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research

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