Prostate adenocarcinoma is present in over 80% of men over the age of 80 and is by far the most common cancer of men. Although radical prostatectomy is curative in early disease, the risks of incontinence and impotence can affect the quality of life of patients. Early intervention with localized immunotherapy represents a potential solution as lymphocyte infiltration does occur in prostate cancer lesions, and immunotherapy with dendritic cell vaccines can significantly increase survival in late stage disease. However, lymphocytic infiltrates in the cancerous prostates have an anergic character arising from the suppressive effects of the microenvironment resulting from a conversion of effector cells into regulatory T-cells. Although TGFβ (transforming growth factor β) and IL-10 (interleukin-10) are known to be strong suppressor molecules associated with prostate cancer, they are among many possible suppressive factors. We discuss the possible role of alternative suppressor molecules, including the WAP (whey acidic protein) homologue ps20 that is expressed on prostate stroma and other WAP domain-containing proteins in the immunosuppressive prostate cancer milieu and discuss novel immunotherapeutic strategies to combat this disease.

You do not currently have access to this content.