Introduction

In 2004, prostate cancer accounted for approx 33% (230,000) of the new cases of cancer in men in the United States and approx 10% (29,900) of the deaths from cancer in men (1). Of the newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer, approx 25% have evidence of regional or distant disease at the time of diagnosis (2). During most of the last 60 yr, this disease was managed with hormonal therapy, a treatment to which most prostate cancers initially respond, but this treatment is not curative. Currently, in patients with disease limited to the prostate, initial treatment includes surgery, conformal external beam radiotherapy, and brachytherapy with radioactive seed implantation (3). Of patients who undergo definitive therapy for clinically localized prostate cancer, 30-50% develop systemic disease (4).

The introduction of the serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) assay has made possible earlier detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer, but treatment still needs to be improved in order to prolong survival. During recent years, tumor-specific antibodies have been developed in an effort to treat patients with disseminated prostate cancer that has become resistant to hormonal therapy. These monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have direct antitumor effects, including antibody-dependent cellular toxicity and complement fixation that make them potentially useful therapeutic agents. In addition, mAbs can be used to deliver cytotoxins or radionuclides directly to tumor tissue.

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