Nivolumab in combination with rucaparib for chemotherapy naïve metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer
Nivolumab in combination with rucaparib is in development for the treatment of chemotherapy naïve metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Prostate cancer is a cancer of the prostate gland, a small organ in a man’s pelvis. There are multiple stages: localised, locally-advanced and advanced (or metastatic) prostate cancer. The symptoms may vary depending on the stage of cancer but can include pain, tiredness, and problems empting the bladder and bowels. Prostate cancer growth and spread depends on the hormone, testosterone. Cancer that does not respond to hormonal treatments to reduce the level of testosterone is known as castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Nivolumab works by improving the activity of a type of white blood cells called T-cells thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Rucaparib also has anti-tumour activity by blocking the effect of certain enzymes leading to the death of tumour cells. It is thought that when used in combination, both drugs may be more effective than each drug on its own. If licenced, nivolumab in combination with rucaparib may improve long-term outcomes in mCRPC patients who currently have limited treatment options.