Gene therapy trial will target prostate cancer recurrence

October 19, 2006

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, are hoping a new gene therapy that takes a gene called RTVP-1 directly into the prostate tumor will prove effective in preventing recurrence of the disease.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, are hoping a new gene therapy that takes a gene called RTVP-1 directly into the prostate tumor will prove effective in preventing recurrence of the disease. The first phase of a study by the Baylor team is designed to test the safety of the treatment and determine the proper dosage of gene.

“We are treating patients who are scheduled for a prostatectomy, but who also have a high risk that their disease will recur,” said Dov Kadmon, MD, of Baylor. “The operation itself is highly successful in eradicating local tumors.”

In the study, patients will receive a single injection into the prostate and will be monitored in a special unit of the hospital for 23 hours to make sure there are no side effects. After that, patients will be instructed to return to the unit for a check-up once a week.

After about 30 days, the subjects will undergo their surgery. Dr. Kadmon said the hope is that the gene therapy will reduce the risk that cancer will recur at or near the site of the tumor, as well as in distant points in the body.

“We hope that by generating a systemic immune response, we are enabling the body to destroy prostate cancer cells that have moved elsewhere,” he said.