Pembrolizumab in addition to docetaxel for chemotherapy-naïve metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer – second line
Pembrolizumab in addition to docetaxel is in clinical development for patients with prostate cancer which has spread from its original site (i.e. is metastatic), is untreatable via testosterone suppression therapy (i.e. is castration resistant), and where the patient has not received chemotherapy (i.e. chemotherapy-naïve). Prostate cancer is a cancer of the prostate gland (a small organ in a man’s pelvis) and is the most common cancer in men in the UK. There are three 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 emptying the bladder and the bowels.
Pembrolizumab is a drug that is already used for other types of cancer. It works by stimulating an immune response against cancer cells. Docetaxel adversely affects cancer cell function through disrupting cell division (mitosis), and inducing cancer cell death. Docetaxel is already licensed for treating men with hormone-resistant metastatic prostate cancer. If licensed, pembrolizumab in addition to docetaxel, both delivered via intra-venous infusion, will offer a novel treatment and an additional therapeutic option for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.