Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Does Sipuleucel-T Improve Survival in African Americans With Advanced Prostate Cancer?

By: Melissa E. Fryman, MS
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019

The clinical benefit of sipuleucel-T treatment in men with advanced prostate cancer seems to be a durable one, according to a study by Kelvin A. Moses, MD, PhD, of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and colleagues. Although all patients in the study enjoyed a survival benefit with the autologous cellular immunotherapy, African American patients seemed to benefit more readily than those in the pooled patient population, which “may address a known survival disparity in [African Americans] with prostate cancer.” These study findings were presented at the 2019 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco (Abstract 222).

In this analysis of data pooled from 3 phase III, multicenter studies, 737 men were randomly assigned to receive either sipuleucel-T or placebo. Of the 488 patients who received sipuleucel-T, 33 were African Americans. The number needed to treat to benefit was defined as the number of treated patients needed to prevent one death. This figure was derived from the inverse of the absolute risk reduction, calculated using Kaplan-Meier estimates at 12-, 24-, and 36-month intervals.

Over a span of 3 years, the number needed to treat to benefit declined for all patients receiving sipuleucel-T. At 12 months, the number needed to treat to benefit was 13 for both the African American group and the pooled patient group. At 24 months and at 36 months, the number needed to treat to benefit was 10 versus 5 and 8 versus 3, respectively.

“Studies with larger sample sizes may confirm if [African American patients] derive a greater [overall survival] benefit from [sipuleucel-T],” concluded the authors.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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