We previously reported the safety and immunologic effects of a DNA vaccine (pTVG-HP [MVI-816]) encoding prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) in patients with recurrent, nonmetastatic prostate cancer. The current trial evaluated the effects of this vaccine on metastatic progression.

Ninety-nine patients with castration-sensitive prostate cancer and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time (DT) of less than 12 months were randomly assigned to treatment with either pTVG-HP co-administered intradermally with 200 μg granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) adjuvant or 200 μg GM-CSF alone six times at 14-day intervals and then quarterly for 2 years. The primary end point was 2-year metastasis-free survival (MFS). Secondary and exploratory end points were median MFS, changes in PSA DT, immunologic effects, and changes in quantitative 18F-sodium fluoride (NaF) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging.

Two-year MFS was not different between study arms (41.8% vaccine v 42.3%; P = .97). Changes in PSA DT and median MFS were not different between study arms (18.9 v 18.3 months; hazard ratio [HR], 1.6; P = .13). Preplanned subset analysis identified longer MFS in vaccine-treated patients with rapid (< 3 months) pretreatment PSA DT (12.0 v 6.1 months; n = 21; HR, 4.4; P = .03). PAP-specific T cells were detected in both cohorts, including multifunctional PAP-specific T-helper 1-biased T cells. Changes in total activity (total standardized uptake value) on 18F-NaF PET/CT from months 3 to 6 increased 50% in patients treated with GM-CSF alone and decreased 23% in patients treated with pTVG-HP (n = 31; P = .07).

pTVG-HP treatment did not demonstrate an overall increase in 2-year MFS in patients with castration-sensitive prostate cancer, with the possible exception of a subgroup with rapidly progressive disease. Prespecified 18F-NaF PET/CT imaging conducted in a subset of patients suggests that vaccination had detectable effects on micrometastatic bone disease. Additional trials using pTVG-HP in combination with PD-1 blockade are under way.

Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2019 Oct 23 [Epub ahead of print]

Douglas G McNeel, Jens C Eickhoff, Laura E Johnson, Alison R Roth, Timothy G Perk, Lawrence Fong, Emmanuel S Antonarakis, Ellen Wargowski, Robert Jeraj, Glenn Liu

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI., University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.