Some patients are "in limbo" in prostate cancer treatment, because their cancer is beginning to become resistant to hormonal therapy, but they do not yet have metastases. Most clinical trials require metastases that can be measured for a response to treatment. Consequently, the usual recommendation is to continue careful monitoring with PSA tests and imaging until there is evidence of measurable disease.
Our research group has a trial designed to develop a possible new immunotherapy vaccine for prostate cancer. Part of this trial is to determine whether the vaccine can stimulate patients' immune cells. For the study, we harvest immune cells from a blood sample (5 tubes, or about 10 teaspoons) and try to stimulate them in the test tube and in animal tumor models of prostate cancer. There is no treatment component at this time, but hopefully there may be in the future. If you are interested in participating in this trial and could come to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please contact Phillip Cooper at 312-695-0912.