Background: E75 is an immunogenic peptide from the HER2/neu protein that is expressed in prostate cancer. High-risk prostate cancer (HRPC) patients demonstrating varying levels of HER2/neu expression were vaccinated with E75 peptide plus granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor to prevent postprostatectomy PSA and clinical recurrences. Study Design: Forty evaluable HRPC patients were prospectively identified using the validated Center for Prostate Disease Research/CaPSURE high-risk equation and enrolled. HLA-A2+ patients (n = 21) were vaccinated, and HLA-A2- patients (n = 19) were followed as clinical controls. All patients were assessed for clinicopathologic factors, biochemical recurrence (consecutive PSA value ≥ 0.2 ng/mL), clinical recurrence, and survival. Results: Comparing the vaccinated and control groups, there were no statistical differences in clinicopathologic prognostic factors. At a median followup of 58.2 months (range 18.8 to 62.7 months), PSA recurrence rates were not different between vaccinated (29%) and control (26%) groups. Median time to recurrence from operation was 14.0 months (range 5.7 to 53.4 months) versus 8.5 months (range 4.7 to 34.1 months) (p = 0.7), respectively. Three vaccinated patients had PSA recurrences during the vaccine series. If these patients were excluded, median time to recurrence for the vaccinated group extends to 42.7 months (range 20.4 to 53.4 months) (p = 0.4). Study-wide, only one clinical recurrence and death occurred in a vaccinated patient that was early in the vaccine series. Subset analysis comparing vaccinated recurrent patients with control recurrences noted some statistical trends. Conclusions: The HER2/neu (E75) vaccine can prevent or delay recurrences in HRPC patients if completed before PSA recurrence. A larger randomized phase II trial in HLA-A2+ patients will be required to confirm these findings.
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