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1.  Intermittent tri-weekly docetaxel plus bicalutamide in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer: a single-arm prospective study using a historical control for comparison 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2013;15(6):773-779.
Whether continuous docetaxel (DTX) chemotherapy offers an advantage over intermittent therapy for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is unknown. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy, toxicity and quality of life (QoL) of intermittent tri-weekly DTX with bicalutamide in CRPC. Forty-two patients (group A) with CRPC were enrolled. The patients received intravenous DTX (75 mg m−2) once tri-weekly with oral bicalutamide (50 mg) once daily. Patients had a DTX holiday when the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level declined ≥50%. DTX was restarted in patients with a PSA increase ≥25%. Sixty patients (group B) who had matching characteristics and had continuously received DTX without bicalutamide for 10–12 cycles were also enrolled. There were no statistically significant differences in progression-free survival (8 months vs. 9 months, P=0.866) or overall survival (19 months vs. 21 months, P=0.753) between groups A and B; however, the proportions of patients in group A with all grades of neutropenia (33% vs. 58%, P=0.013) and nausea/vomiting (11% vs. 29%, P=0.024) were significantly less compared to group B. A significant improvement in the global health and fatigue scores was recorded for group A post-chemotherapy compared to pre-chemotherapy (P<0.05). The fatigue, nausea/vomiting and appetite loss scores in group B were increased post-chemotherapy compared to pre-chemotherapy (P<0.05). In conclusion, intermittent tri-weekly DTX plus bicalutamide is well tolerated and has the potential to achieve comparable disease control with an improvement in QoL for patients with CRPC.
PMCID: PMC3854057  PMID: 23955552
androgen; chemotherapy; docetaxel; prostate cancer; safety
2.  External validation of risk classification in patients with docetaxel-treated castration-resistant prostate cancer 
BMC Urology  2014;14:31.
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients have poor prognoses, and docetaxel (DTX) is among the few treatment options. An accurate risk classification to identify CRPC patient groups for which DTX would be effective is urgently warranted. The Armstrong risk classification (ARC), which classifies CRPC patients into 3 groups, is superior; however, its usefulness remains unclear, and further external validation is required before clinical use. This study aimed to examine the clinical significance of the ARC through external validation in DTX-treated Japanese CRPC patients.
CRPC patients who received 2 or more DTX cycles were selected for this study. Patients were classified into good-, intermediate-, and poor-risk groups according to the ARC. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) responses and overall survival (OS) were calculated and compared between the risk groups. A multivariate analysis was performed to clarify the relationship between the ARC and major patient characteristics.
Seventy-eight CRPC patients met the inclusion criteria. Median PSA levels at DTX initiation was 20 ng/mL. Good-, intermediate-, and poor-risk groups comprised 51 (65%), 17 (22%), and 10 (13%) patients, respectively. PSA response rates ≥30% and ≥50% were 33%, 41%, and 30%, and 18%, 41%, and 20% in the good-, intermediate-, and poor-risk groups, respectivcixely, with no significant differences (p = 0.133 and 0.797, respectively). The median OS in the good-, intermediate-, and poor-risk groups were statistically significant (p < 0.001) at 30.1, 14.2, and 5.7 months, respectively. A multivariate analysis revealed that the ARC and PSA doubling time were independent prognostic factors.
Most of CRPC patients were classified into good-risk group according to the ARC and the ARC could predict prognosis in DTX-treated CRPC patients.
Trial registration
University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR) number, UMIN000011969.
PMCID: PMC3997751  PMID: 24742323
Castration-resistant prostate cancer; Docetaxel; Risk classification; Validation study
Cancer  2010;117(3):526-533.
The use of docetaxel prolongs survival for patients with castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) with bevacizumab may further enhance the anti-tumor effect of docetaxel and estramustine in patients with CRPC.
Patients and Methods
This cooperative group trial enrolled men with CRPC. Patients received oral estramustine 280 mg three times per day on days 1-5 of every cycle, with 70 mg/m2 of docetaxel and bevacizumab at 15 mg/kg on day 2, every three weeks. PSA values were monitored every cycle and imaging was performed every 3 cycles. The primary endpoint was progression free survival (PFS) with safety, prostate specific antigen decline, measurable disease response, and overall survival secondary objectives.
Seventy-nine patients were enrolled; 77 received a median of 8 cycles and were evaluable. A 50% PSA decline was observed in 58 patients (75%). Twenty-three of 39 patients with measurable disease had a partial response (59%) The median time of PFS was 8.0 months with an overall median survival of 24 months. Neutropenia without fever (69%), fatigue (25%), thrombosis\emboli (9%) were the most common severe toxicities. Twenty-four of 77 patients were removed from protocol treatment due to disease progression, 35/77 for physician or patient decision and 15 patients secondary to toxicity.
The combination of docetaxel, estramustine and bevacizumab was tolerable but complicated by toxicity. Although progression free survival did not meet the desired endpoint, encouraging anti-tumor activity and overall survival was observed. Further phase III evaluation of the role of bevacizumab in CRPC is ongoing.
PMCID: PMC3010428  PMID: 20862750
Docetaxel; Bevacizumab; castrate resistant prostate cancer
4.  Weekly administration of docetaxel in combination with estramustine and celecoxib in patients with advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer: final results from a phase II study 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;97(9):1206-1210.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of weekly docetaxel, estramustine and celecoxib in patients with advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Forty-eight patients received 35 mg m−2 of weekly docetaxel for 3 out of every 4 weeks, 280 mg of estramustine twice daily on days 1–3, 8–10, 15–17 and 400 mg of celecoxib twice daily until progression or toxicity. Cycles were repeated every 28 days for at least six cycles. Patients were evaluated for response and toxicity. Patients received a median of four cycles (range: 1–9). On an intention-to-treat analysis, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was decreased greater than 50% in 28 out of 48 patients (overall response rate: 58%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 44–72) and median duration of PSA response was 8.0 months (95% CI: 6.9–9.0). After a median follow-up of 11.3 months, the median time to progression was 7.1 months and the median overall survival was 19.2 months. The most frequent severe toxicity was asthenia (15% of patients), diarrhoea and stomatitis (8% of patients, each). Grade 3/4 neutropenia was reported in two patients. There was a toxic death during the study due to a gastric perforation. Celecoxib with weekly docetaxel and estramustine is an effective and safe treatment for patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer, but it does not seem to add any benefit to docetaxel.
PMCID: PMC2360463  PMID: 17955053
COX-2 inhibitor; docetaxel; estramustine; celecoxib; prostate cancer; androgen-independent
5.  Phase II study of sequential chemotherapy with docetaxel–estramustine followed by mitoxantrone–prednisone in patients with advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;97(12):1613-1617.
Sequential chemotherapy may improve treatment efficacy avoiding the additive toxicity associated with concomitant polichemotherapy in hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). Forty patients received docetaxel 30 mg m−2 intravenous (i.v.), weekly, plus estramustine 280 mg twice daily for 12 weeks. After 2 weeks rest, patients with a decline or stable PSA were treated with mitoxantrone 12 mg m−2 i.v. every 3 weeks plus prednisone 5 mg twice daily for 12 cycles. Forty patients were assessable for toxicity after docetaxel/estramustine. Main toxicities were grade 3–4 AST/ALT or bilirubin increase in seven patients (17.5%) and deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in four patients (10%). Twenty-seven patients received mitoxantrone/prednisone. Main toxicities included DVT in one patient (3.7%) and congestive heart failure in two patients (7%). Thirty-nine patients were assessable for PSA response. Twenty-nine patients (72.5%; 95% CI 63–82%) obtained a ⩾50% PSA decline with 15 patients (37.5%; 95% CI 20–50%) that demonstrated a ⩾90% decrease. Median progression-free and overall survival were respectively 7.0 (95% CI 5.8–8.2 months) and 19.2 months (95% CI 13.9–24.3 months). In conclusion, although this regimen demonstrated a favourable toxicity profile, sequential administration of mitoxantrone is not able to improve docetaxel activity in patients with HRPC.
PMCID: PMC2360275  PMID: 18026196
prostate cancer; docetaxel; estramustine; mitoxantrone; sequential chemotherapy
6.  Predictive Factors for Premature Discontinuation of Docetaxel-Based Systemic Chemotherapy in Men With Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 
Korean Journal of Urology  2013;54(3):157-162.
The objective was to determine predictive factors for premature discontinuation of docetaxel-based systemic chemotherapy in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of men who were treated with docetaxel-based systemic chemotherapy for CRPC in a single institution between May 2005 and April 2010. After being screened, 30 patients fit the eligibility criteria for inclusion in this study. Group 1 included 12 patients who were treated with five or fewer cycles of docetaxel chemotherapy for CRPC, and group 2 included 18 patients who were treated with six or more cycles of docetaxel chemotherapy for CRPC. The treatment consisted of 5 mg prednisolone twice daily and 75 mg/m2 docetaxel once every 3 weeks.
The median age was 72 years, and the median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status was 0. The median baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was 33.8 ng/mL. The median cycle of docetaxel-based chemotherapy was 5.8. Of 30 patients, 13 patients (48.2%) had a decline in PSA of >50% from baseline; 3 of 22 patients (13.6%) with measurable disease had achieved partial response on imaging. No differences in age, ECOG performance status, hemoglobin, serum creatinine, or PSA response were observed between the two groups. Body mass index was significantly lower (p=0.034) in group 1 (21.8 kg/m2) than in group 2 (23.6 kg/m2). Group 1 included more patients with prior systemic chemotherapy (p=0.039), and group 1 had a shorter overall survival rate (p=0.039).
Premature discontinuation of docetaxel-based systemic chemotherapy is associated with lower body mass index and prior systemic chemotherapy. Premature discontinuation of docetaxel-based chemotherapy is associated with a shorter overall survival rate.
PMCID: PMC3604567  PMID: 23526149
Induction chemotherapy; Prostatic neoplasms; Treatment outcome
7.  Comparison of Ketoconazole and Estramustine for Treating Patients with Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 
Korean Journal of Urology  2011;52(11):746-751.
We investigated the efficacy of ketoconazole and estramustine before chemotherapy for treating patients with progressive castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) after anti-androgen withdrawal syndrome.
Materials and Methods
Eighty-four patients who were diagnosed with CRPC and were treated between 2005 and 2009 were included. Thirty-nine patients were treated with 600 mg of ketoconazole and 10 mg of prednisolone per day (group I), and 45 patients were treated with 560 mg of estramustine per day (group II). The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response, progression-free survival, and side effects were compared.
The median age of the patients, PSA level, and follow-up period were 72 years, 48.5 ng/ml, and 4 months (range, 1 to 29 months), respectively. The overall PSA response rate was 35.7%, and the PSA response rates were 33.3% for group I and 37.8% for group II (p=0.672). The median progression-free survival times were 8 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.9-10.1) overall, 5 months (95% CI 1.6-8.3) in group I, and 8 months (95% CI 5.9-10.0) in group II (p=0.282). The most common complications in groups I and II were nausea and vomiting (51.3%) and anemia (77.8%), respectively. Nausea and vomiting and hepatotoxicity were observed more often in group I, and gynecomastia, neutropenia, and anemia were observed more often in group II. The toxicities of each adverse effect were ≤grade 2.
With a resultant PSA decline and mild adverse effects, both ketoconazole and estramustine are worth consideration as treatment options for progressive CRPC patients after primary hormonal therapy.
PMCID: PMC3242987  PMID: 22195263
Estramustine; Ketoconazole; Prostatic neoplasms
8.  Risk Factors for Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC) Predict Long-Term Treatment with Docetaxel 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e48186.
For patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostatic cancer (mCRPC), docetaxel plus prednisone leads to superior survival and a higher response rate compared with mitoxantrone plus prednisone. We analyzed the efficacy of long-term treatment with ≥10 cycles of docetaxel, and validated the risk group classification in predicting overall survival (OS) in Japanese patients with mCRPC.
Patients and Methods
Fifty-two patients with mCRPC were administered 55 mg/m2 docetaxel and 8 mg dexamethasone, every 3 or 4 weeks, simultaneously with hormonal therapy and daily oral dexamethasone. They were divided into two groups, short-term (9 or fewer cycles) and long-term (10 or more cycles). Four risk factors including the presence of anemia, bone metastases, significant pain and visceral metastases were utilized for the risk group classification.
Fourteen patients (27%) had an elevation of PSA in spite of docetaxel treatment, while 23 patients (44%) had a decline in PSA level, including 9 patients (17%) whose PSA level declined by ≥50%. The median duration of OS after the initiation of this therapy was 11.2 months in the short-term group and 28.5 months in the long-term group. The good risk group showed a significant difference in OS compared with the intermediate and poor risk groups (P<0.001). The median number of cycles of treatment was 14, 4 and 3 for each risk group, respectively (p<0.01).
The present study indicated that ≥10 cycles of this docetaxel therapy can significantly prolong survival in Japanese men with CRPC. This risk group classification for men with mCRPC at the initiation of this chemotherapy is useful.
PMCID: PMC3484044  PMID: 23118948
9.  The role of cabazitaxel in the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer 
For decades, cytotoxic therapy was considered ineffective for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Earlier therapies such as estramustine and mitoxantrone received regulatory approval based upon improvement in palliative endpoints. In 2004, docetaxel became the first treatment to demonstrate a significant survival benefit in patients with mCRPC based on two randomized phase III studies, TAX327 and SWOG 99-16. Cabazitaxel, a third-generation taxane, was chosen for clinical development based on its decreased affinity for the drug efflux pump, p-glycoprotein, which is a frequent cause of drug resistance in docetaxel-resistant preclinical models. In 2010, cabazitaxel was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as the first therapy to show a survival benefit for the treatment of patients with docetaxel-refractory mCRPC. This review summarizes the existing literature on the use of cabazitaxel, focusing on its efficacy and safety in combination with prednisone in the treatment of mCRPC, as well as its role in an era of new therapeutic options.
PMCID: PMC4003844  PMID: 24883107
cabazitaxel; castration resistant; docetaxel; efficacy; prostate cancer; safety; taxane
10.  Effective oral combination metronomic chemotherapy with low toxicity for the management of castration-resistant prostate cancer 
Prostate cancer (PC) was previously believed to be a chemoresistant disease. In recent years taxane-based chemotherapy has been shown to prolong survival in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). It remains to be shown, however, which type of chemotherapy provides the most beneficial effect with the least amount of side effects. Seventeen patients with chemonaive CRPC were enrolled in a pilot study evaluating an orally administered chemo-hormonal treatment regimen using a weekly sequential combination called KEES; consisting of ketoconazole in combination with cyclophosphamide or etoposide in combination with estramustine administered on alternate weeks. Prednisone was administered throughout the treatment period. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response and acute and chronic toxicities were evaluated. Seventeen patients with CRPC were treated; eleven patients demonstrated a median reduction in PSA of 87% (range 26–99%). Ten (59%) patients responded with a decrease in PSA >50%. Thrombocytopenia and anaemia were the most common side effects. One study fatality was reported, however, it was unclear whether this was treatment related. In conclusion, KEES may be a promising option for patients with CRPC, resulting in a clear reduction in PSA with limited toxicity. Further clinical evaluation of this metronomic chemohormonal combination is underway.
PMCID: PMC3440841  PMID: 22977543
prostate cancer; castration-resistant; hormone-refractory; metronomic; chemotherapy; angiogenesis
11.  Synergistic Antitumor Activities of Docetaxel and Octreotide Associated with Apoptotic-Upregulation in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91817.
Androgen deprivation therapy has become the fist-line treatment of metastatic prostate cancer; however, progression to castrate resistance disease occurs in the majority of patients. Thus, there is an urgent need for improvements in therapy for castration-resistant prostate cancer. The aims of the present study were to determine the efficacy somatostatin analogue octreotide (OCT) combined with a low dose of docetaxel (DTX) using castration resistant prostate cancer cells and to investigate the involved molecular mechanisms in vitro. The anti-proliferative and synergism potential effects were determined by MTT assay. Induction of apoptosis was analyzed employing annexing V and propidium iodide staining and flow cytometry. VEGFA, CASP9, CASP3 and ABCB1 gene expression was evaluated by RT-PCR and Q-RT-PCR analysis. OCT in combination with DTX treatments on DU145 cell migration was also evaluated. Investigation revealed that combined administration of DTX and OCT had significant, synergistically greater cytotoxicity than DTX or OCT treatment alone. The combination of the two drugs caused a more marked increase in apoptosis and resulted in greater suppression of invasive potential than either individual agent. There was obvious increase in caspase 3 expression in the OCT alone and two-drug combined treatment groups, however, VEGFA expression was markedly suppressed in them. These results support the conclusion that somatostatin analogues combined with docetaxel may enhance the chemotherapy efficacies through multiple mechanisms in castration-resistant PCa cell line. This work provides a preclinical rationale for the therapeutic strategies to improve the treatment in castrate resistance disease.
PMCID: PMC3954761  PMID: 24632829
12.  Docetaxel induces apoptosis in hormone refractory prostate carcinomas during multiple treatment cycles 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;94(11):1592-1598.
Caspase-cleaved proteins are released from disintegrated apoptotic cells and can be detected in the circulation. We here addressed whether caspase-cleaved cytokeratin 18 (CK18-Asp396) can be used as a serum biomarker for assessment of the clinical efficiency of chemotherapy in hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). A total of 82 patients with HRPC were evaluated during 751 treatment cycles, either with estramustine (EMP)/vinorelbine or with EMP/docetaxel. The levels of CK18-Asp396 and of total CK18 were measured in patient serum before and during therapy by ELISA. Docetaxel induced significant increases in serum CK18-Asp396 (P<0.0001) and total CK18 (P<0.0002), suggesting induction of apoptosis. Similarly, vinorelbine induced increases in both CK18-Asp396 and CK18 (P<0.001 and 0.011). In contrast, EMP induced increases in total serum CK18 (P<0.0001), but not in CK18-Asp396 (P=0.13). The amplitudes of docetaxel-induced increases were associated with baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and CK18 serum levels in these patients, consistent with tumoral origin of caspase-cleaved fragments. Docetaxel induced significant increases in CK18-Asp396 during second-, third- and fourth-line therapy and induced increased levels of CK18-Asp396 during treatment cycles 1–8. In contrast, vinorelbine induced significant increases only during cycles 1–3. In a subgroup of 32 patients that received EMP/vinorelbine in second line followed by EMP/docetaxel in third line, docetaxel induced stronger increases than vinorelbine (P=0.008). These results show that the CK18-Asp396 serum marker can be used to assess tumour apoptosis in vivo and suggest that the clinical efficiency of docetaxel in HRPC is due to induction of apoptosis during multiple treatment cycles.
PMCID: PMC2361322  PMID: 16685278
prostate cancer; treatment; apoptosis; biomarker; M30-ELISA
13.  Marked leukocytosis in response to estramustine phosphate in a hormone-refractory prostate cancer patient 
A 67-year-old man was refered to our institution with a complaint of elevated serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level (54 ng/mL). Diagnosis was adenocarcinoma of the prostate with a Gleason score of 9, with bone metastasis (stageD2). He was treated with maximal androgen blockade followed by estramustine phosphate (EMP) because of the progression to hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). Leukocytosis over 20000/μL was repeatedly observed at each administration of EMP. This is the first case report of leukocytosis in response to EMP in an HRPC patient. The present case suggests that EMP could modulate leukocyte differentiation in HRPC patients.
PMCID: PMC3658217  PMID: 23754886
leukocytosis; neutrophilia; estramustine phosphate; hormone-refractory prostate cancer
14.  Efficacy of carboplatin–taxane combinations in the management of castration-resistant prostate cancer: a pooled analysis of seven prospective clinical trials 
Annals of Oncology  2009;21(2):312-318.
Background: Docetaxel is associated with prolonged survival in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Platinum compounds have modest but distinct single-agent activity. Carboplatin may have greatest potential for benefit when combined with taxanes. We investigated whether there is a subset of patients with CRPC for whom the efficacy of combination taxane–estramustine–carboplatin (TEC) chemotherapy may be greatest.
Patients and methods: Individual patient data (n = 310) were obtained from seven trials using TEC chemotherapy. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response was defined as ≥50% post-therapy decline from baseline. Overall survival was defined from baseline to death from any cause. Logistic and Cox regression were used to investigate heterogeneity in outcome to TEC by patient and disease characteristics. Predicted survival probabilities were calculated from the Halabi Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) nomogram.
Results: The pooled PSA response proportion was 69% [95% confidence interval (CI) 56% to 80%]. There was no evidence of differential PSA response by disease characteristics. Established prognostic factors were associated with survival. The pooled 12-month survival estimate of 79% (95% CI 71% to 84%) was higher than the median 59% 12-month nomogram-predicted survival.
Conclusions: TEC chemotherapy has significant clinical activity in CRPC. A randomized, controlled trial evaluating the addition of carboplatin to taxane-based chemotherapy is needed to elucidate the value of carboplatin in CRPC.
PMCID: PMC2852201  PMID: 19633053
carboplatin; estramustine; prostate cancer; taxanes
15.  Epirubicin combined with estramustine phosphate in hormone-resistant prostate cancer: a phase II study. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;76(1):93-99.
Twenty-four assessable patients with hormone-resistant prostate cancer (HRPC) were to receive daily doses of oral estramustine phosphate (EMP), 10 mg kg(-1), and intravenous epirubicin (EPR) infusions, 100 mg m(-2), every third week up to a cumulative dose of 500 mg m(-2). Biochemical response [> or = 50% reduction in pretreatment serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) after three cycles of > or = 3 weeks' duration] was demonstrated in 13 of 24 patients included (54%). No objective response (WHO criteria) was observed, although seven of nine evaluable patients achieved a > or = 50% serum PSA reduction. Subjective improvement (pain score, performance status) occurred in 7 of 24 patients, whereas nine patients progressed subjectively. There was no correlation between subjective and biochemical response. Biochemical progression (> or = 50% increase of nadir PSA) occurred after a median of 12 weeks. All but two patients were alive after a median follow-up time of 8.7 months for surviving patients (range 3.3-13.2). Eight patients experienced grade 3/4 leucopenia, with no indication of cumulative myelosuppression. Cardiovascular toxicity was experienced by four patients. Two patients developed angioedema twice, in one patient requiring hospitalization at the intensive ward. Based on this limited series, the combination of EPR and EMP in patients with HRPC is tolerable and appears to be effective in terms of significant PSA reduction. The results warrant further investigations of the two drugs and, in particular, of the clinical significance of > or = 50% PSA decrease in patients with HRPC.
PMCID: PMC2223802  PMID: 9218739
16.  Phase I study of docetaxel plus S-1 combination chemotherapy for recurrent non-small cell lung cancer 
Oncology Letters  2010;2(1):167-170.
S-1 is a novel oral fluorouracil prodrug that plays a role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Docetaxel (DTX) is one of the standard agents for relapsed NSCLC. We performed a phase I study of DTX plus S-1 combination therapy as second-line treatment for NSCLC to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended dose (RD). Patients with recurrent NSCLC, aged 20–74 years with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0–1 and measurable lesions, were enrolled. The treatment consisted of four dose levels. The patients received DTX (40–60 mg/m2 intravenously on day 1) and S-1 (65–80 mg/m2 orally, daily on days 1–14) for each 21-day cycle. Three to six patients were treated at each dose level with the two drugs, with MTD defined as the dose level at which dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) occurred in 33% of the patients. A total of 17 patients were enrolled. At dose level 4 (DTX, 60 mg/m2; S-1, 80 mg/m2) 3 of 5 patients experienced DLT and this level was regarded as the MTD. Therefore, dose level 3 (DTX, 60 mg/m2; S-1, 65 mg/m2) was selected as the RD for subsequent studies. The DLTs were neutropenia (grade 4) and mucositis (grade 3). The response rate was 5.9% (1 of 17 patients achieved a partial response) and 14 of 17 patients achieved stable disease. This combination regimen showed a tolerable and manageable profile in recurrent NSCLC and therefore warrants further evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3412446  PMID: 22870147
docetaxel; S-1; phase I
17.  A Phase I Clinical Study of High-Dose Ketoconazole Plus Weekly Docetaxel in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 
The Journal of urology  2010;183(6):2219-2226.
High-dose ketoconazole and docetaxel have shown activity as single agents against castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The goal of this phase I study was to determine the maximum tolerated doses, side effects, and pharmacokinetic interaction of coadministered docetaxel and ketoconazole.
Experimental Design
Patients with metastatic CRPC received weekly docetaxel for 3 of every 4 weeks, plus daily ketoconazole. Pharmacokinetic studies were performed on day 1 (docetaxel alone) and day 16 (after ketoconazole).
The study enrolled 42 patients at 9 different dose levels. The combination regimens investigated included docetaxel weekly for three weeks out of four escalating from 5 to 43 mg/m2, with starting doses of ketoconazole of 600, 800, or 1200 mg/day. Declines in prostate-specific antigen of ≥ 50% were seen in 62% of patients. Of 25 patients with soft tissue disease, 7 (28%) had partial response. Median overall survival was 22.8 months, and was significantly greater in docetaxel-naïve patients than in patients pretreated with docetaxel (36.8 vs. 10.3 months; P = 0.0001). The most frequently observed adverse events were anemia, edema, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, sensory neuropathy, and elevated liver function tests. The fractional change in docetaxel clearance correlated significantly with ketoconazole exposure (P < 0.01). Concomitant ketoconazole increased docetaxel exposure 2.6-fold with 1200 mg/day, 1.6-fold with 800 mg/day, and 1.3- to 1.5-fold with 600 mg/day.
Results suggest that the combination of weekly docetaxel and ketoconazole has significant antitumor activity in CRPC with manageable toxicities. The extremely long survival in the docetaxel-naïve cohort (36.8 months) warrants additional larger trials of docetaxel with ketoconazole or possibly CYP17A1 inhibitors such as abiraterone.
PMCID: PMC3474294  PMID: 20399458
castration-resistant prostate cancer; docetaxel; ketoconazole; drug-drug interaction; CYP3A4
18.  Anti-MUC1 Monoclonal Antibody (C595) and Docetaxel Markedly Reduce Tumor Burden and Ascites, and Prolong Survival in an in vivo Ovarian Cancer Model 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24405.
MUC1 is associated with cellular transformation and tumorigenicity and is considered as an important tumor-associated antigen (TAA) for cancer therapy. We previously reported that anti-MUC1 monoclonal antibody C595 (MAb C595) plus docetaxel (DTX) increased efficacy of DTX alone and caused cultured human epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells to undergo apoptosis. To further study the mechanisms of this combination-mediated apoptosis, we investigated the effectiveness of this combination therapy in vivo in an intraperitoneal (i.p.) EOC mouse model. OVCAR-3 cells were implanted intraperitoneally in female athymic nude mice and allowed to grow tumor and ascites. Mice were then treated with single MAb C595, DTX, combination test (MAb C595 and DTX), combination control (negative MAb IgG3 and DTX) or vehicle control i.p for 3 weeks. Treated mice were killed 4 weeks post-treatment. Ascites volume, tumor weight, CA125 levels from ascites and survival of animals were assessed. The expression of MUC1, CD31, Ki-67, TUNEL and apoptotic proteins in tumor xenografts was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. MAb C595 alone inhibited i.p. tumor growth and ascites production in a dose-dependent manner but did not obviously prevent tumor development. However, combination test significantly reduced ascites volume, tumor growth and metastases, CA125 levels in ascites and improved survival of treated mice compared with single agent-treated mice, combination control or vehicle control-treated mice (P<0.05). The data was in a good agreement with that from cultured cells in vitro. The mechanisms behind the observed effects could be through targeting MUC1 antigens, inhibition of tumor angiogenesis, and induction of apoptosis. Our results suggest that this combination approach can effectively reduce tumor burden and ascites, prolong survival of animals through induction of tumor apoptosis and necrosis, and may provide a potential therapy for advanced metastatic EOC.
PMCID: PMC3170300  PMID: 21931707
19.  Novel docetaxel-loaded nanoparticles based on poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide-co-caprolactone) for prostate cancer treatment: formulation, characterization, and cytotoxicity studies 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):260.
Docetaxel (Dtx) chemotherapy is the optional treatment in patients with hormone-refractory metastatic prostate cancer, and Dtx-loaded polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) have the potential to induce durable clinical responses. However, alternative formulations are needed to overcome the serious side effects, also due to the adjuvant used, and to improve the clinical efficacy of the drug.
In the present study, two novel biodegradable block-copolymers, poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) (PLA-PCL) and poly(lactide-co-caprolactone-co-glycolide) (PLGA-PCL), were explored for the formulation of Dtx-loaded NPs and compared with PLA- and PLGA-NPs. The nanosystems were prepared by an original nanoprecipitation method, using Pluronic F-127 as surfactant agent, and were characterized in terms of morphology, size distribution, encapsulation efficiency, crystalline structure, and in vitro release. To evaluate the potential anticancer efficacy of a nanoparticulate system, in vitro cytotoxicity studies on human prostate cancer cell line (PC3) were carried out. NPs were found to be of spherical shape with an average diameter in the range of 100 to 200 nm and a unimodal particle size distribution. Dtx was incorporated into the PLGA-PCL NPs with higher (p < 0.05) encapsulation efficiency than that of other polymers. Differential scanning calorimetry suggested that Dtx was molecularly dispersed in the polymeric matrices. In vitro drug release study showed that release profiles of Dtx varied on the bases of characteristics of polymers used for formulation. PLA-PCL and PLGA-PCL drug loaded NPs shared an overlapping release profiles, and are able to release about 90% of drug within 6 h, when compared with PLA- and PLGA-NPs. Moreover, cytotoxicity studies demonstrated advantages of the Dtx-loaded PLGA-PCL NPs over pure Dtx in both time- and concentration-dependent manner. In particular, an increase of 20% of PC3 growth inhibition was determined by PLGA-PCL NPs with respect to free drug after 72 h incubation and at all tested Dtx concentration. In summary, PLGA-PCL copolymer may be considered as an attractive and promising polymeric material for the formulation of Dtx NPs as delivery system for prostate cancer treatment, and can also be pursued as a validated system in a more large context.
PMCID: PMC3211323  PMID: 21711774
20.  Once-daily Dasatinib: Expansion of Phase II Study Evaluating Safety and Efficacy of Dasatinib in Patients With Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer 
Urology  2011;77(5):1166-1171.
To determine the activity and tolerability of 100-mg once-daily (QD) dasatinib in patients with metastatic castration-resistance prostate cancer (CRPC). Dasatinib, an oral Src family kinase inhibitor, has demonstrated both preclinical and clinical activity with twice-daily dosing in patients with metastatic CRPC.
Chemotherapy-naive men with metastatic CRPC and increasing prostate-specific antigen levels were treated with dasatinib 100 mg QD. The primary measurement was a composite lack of disease progression, according to the Prostate Cancer Working Group 2 criteria, determined every 12 weeks during the study. The other analyses included changes in the prostate-specific antigen level, bone lesions, soft tissue disease, and bone turnover markers (urine N-telopeptide and bone alkaline phosphatase).
The present trial was designed before the publication of the recent Prostate Cancer Working Group 2 criteria; however, the analyses are presented to conform to the updated guidelines. A total of 48 patients received dasatinib. A lack of disease progression was observed in 21 patients (44%) at week 12 and in 8 (17%) at week 24. Urine N-telopeptide was reduced by ≥40% from baseline in 22 (51%) of 43 patients, and bone alkaline phosphatase was decreased in 26 (59%) of 44 patients. Dasatinib was well-tolerated, with only 6 patients (13%) with drug-related grade 3–4 adverse events and 3 (6%) with grade 3 adverse events. The most common treatment-related adverse events (≥20%) were fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, headache, and anorexia.
Dasatinib 100 mg QD has a favorable safety profile and maintains a similar degree of activity as the previously reported twice-daily dosing schedules. These data support additional study of dasatinib 100 mg QD for metastatic CRPC.
PMCID: PMC3394099  PMID: 21539969
21.  Uptake and retention of estramustine and the presence of estramustine binding protein in malignant brain tumours in humans. 
British Journal of Cancer  1993;67(2):358-361.
Estraumustine phosphate (EMP), a cytotoxic drug used in the treatment of prostatic carcinoma, has been shown to exert cytotoxic effects on glioma cells in vitro. The drug uptake is assumed to depend on a specific estramustine binding protein (EMBP). One of the main difficulties in achieving cytotoxic effect in malignant brain tumours is believed to be due to the poor penetration of cytotoxic drugs into tumour tissue. In patients with malignant supratentorial brain tumours we have analysed the uptake of EMP metabolites in tumour tissue after oral administration and demonstrated EMBP in the same tissue specimens. Sixteen patients were given 280 mg EMP orally 14 h prior to surgery. Specimens from brain tumour tissue, cystic fluid, and serum were collected during surgery. Using gas chromatography the metabolites of EMP, estramustine (EaM) and estromustine (EoM), were quantified, EMBP was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. The mean concentrations of EaM and EoM, expressed in ng g-1, were 60.3 and 38.4 in tumour tissue and 3.5 and 56.3 in serum, respectively. An accumulation of EaM in tumour tissue was found with a mean concentration gradient of 16.1 versus serum, while the gradient for EoM was 0.76. EMBP was demonstrated with a high degree of staining in all but one tumour. The high concentrations of EaM and EoM found in malignant brain tumour tissue correspond to potentially cytotoxic levels. The present results as well as the earlier in vitro demonstrated cytotoxic effects on glioma cells strengthen the possibility of a therapeutic effect of EMP in the treatment of malignant brain tumours.
PMCID: PMC1968176  PMID: 8431366
22.  Management of castration-resistant prostate cancer: a global approach 
Current Oncology  2012;19(Suppl 3):S32-S36.
Treatment options for castration-resistant prostate cancer (crpc) have evolved since the start of the 2000s, with most of the new effective therapies appearing since 2010. In 2004, docetaxel was the first chemotherapeutic agent to improve survival in crpc, but little else was available once patients recurred. Since 2010, four new options have been shown to improve survival in patients with refractory or recurring disease after docetaxel. In the management of bone metastases, two bone-targeted therapies have been shown to reduce the risk of bone complications, and they are part of the overall management strategy in crpc patients. Therapeutic options before chemotherapy have shown promising results and may soon become available in Canada. The present article reviews the treatment options that have shown to be effective in crpc and also some of the ongoing work in the field.
PMCID: PMC3553560  PMID: 23355791
Castration-resistant prostate cancer; crpc; prostate cancer; metastatic prostate cancer
23.  A randomized phase II trial of mitoxantrone, estramustine and vinorelbine or bcl-2 modulation with 13-cis retinoic acid, interferon and paclitaxel in patients with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer: ECOG 3899 
To test the hypothesis that modulation of Bcl-2 with 13-cis retinoic acid (CRA)/interferon-alpha2b (IFN) with paclitaxel (TAX), or mitoxantrone, estramustine and vinorelbine (MEV) will have clinical activity in men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
70 patients were treated with either MEV (Arm A) in a 3-week cycle or CRA/IFN/TAX with an 8-week cycle (Arm B). Patients were assessed for response, toxicity, quality of life (QOL), and the effect of treatment on Bcl-2 levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).
The PSA response rates were 50% and 23%, measurable disease response rates (CR+PR) 14% and 15%, and median overall survival 19.4 months and 13.9 months on Arm A and Arm B respectively. Transient grade 4 neutropenia occurred in 18 and 2 patients, and grade 3 to 4 thrombosis in 7 patients and 1 patient in Arm A and Arm B respectively. Patients on Arm B reported a clinically significant decline in QOL between baseline and week 9/10 (.71 s.d.), and a significantly lower level of QOL than Arm A (p = 0.01). As hypothesized, Bcl-2 levels decreased with CRA/IFN therapy only in Arm B (p = 0.03).
Treatment with MEV was well tolerated and demonstrated clinical activity in patients with CRPC. Given the adverse effect of CRA/IFN/TAX on QOL, the study of other novel agents that target Bcl-2 family proteins is warranted. The feasibility of measuring Bcl-2 protein in a cooperative group setting is hypothesis generating and supports further study as a marker for Bcl-2 targeted therapy.
Trial Registration
Clinical Trials Registration number: CDR0000067865
PMCID: PMC2837641  PMID: 20178647
24.  Identification of ING4 (Inhibitor of Growth 4) as a Modulator of Docetaxel Sensitivity in Human Lung Adenocarcinoma 
Molecular Medicine  2012;18(1):874-886.
Resistance to docetaxel (DTX) usually occurs in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. To better elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to DTX-based chemotherapy, we established a DTX-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cell line (SPC-A1/DTX). By gene array analysis, the expression of ING4 was found to be significantly downregulated in SPC-A1/DTX cells. Additionally, the decreased expression of the ING4 gene was induced upon DTX treatment of SPC-A1 cells. Overexpression of ING4 reverses DTX or paclitaxel resistance of DTX-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cells (SPC-A1/DTX or A549/Taxol) by inducing apoptosis enhancement and G2/M arrest, and small interfering RNA–mediated ING4 knockdown renders DTX-sensitive lung adenocarcinoma cells more resistant to DTX or paclitaxel. Also, overexpression of ING4 could enhance the in vivo sensitivity of SPC-A1/DTX cells to DTX. The phenotypical changes of SPC-A1/DTX cells induced by overexpression of ING4 might be associated with the decreased ratio of Bcl-2/Bax, which resulted in the activation of caspase-3. The level of ING4 expression in tumors of nonresponding patients was significantly lower than that in those of responders, suggesting that the expression of ING4 was positively correlated with tumor response to DTX. Our results provide the first evidence that ING4 might be essential for DTX resistance in lung adenocarcinoma. Thus, ING4 will be a potential molecular target for overcoming resistance to DTX-based chemotherapies in lung adenocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3409275  PMID: 22460125
25.  Dasatinib Combined With Docetaxel For Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Results From a Phase 1/2 Study 
Cancer  2011;118(1):63-71.
To determine the potential efficacy of targeting both the tumor and bone microenvironment in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), we conducted a phase 1/2 trial combining docetaxel with dasatinib, an oral SRC inhibitor.
In phase 1, 16 men received dasatinib 50–120 mg once daily (QD) and docetaxel 60–75 mg/m2 every 21 days (Q21D). In phase 2, 30 additional men received dasatinib 100 mg QD/docetaxel 75 mg/m2 Q21D. Efficacy endpoints included changes in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), measurable disease, bone scans, and markers of bone metabolism. Safety and pharmacokinetics were also studied.
Combination dasatinib and docetaxel therapy was generally well tolerated. Thirteen of 46 patients (28%) had a grade 3/4 toxicity. Drug–drug interactions and a maximum tolerated dose were not identified. Durable 50% PSA declines occurred in 26/46 patients (57%). Of 30 patients with measurable disease, 18 (60%) had a partial response. Fourteen patients (30%) had disappearance of a lesion on bone scan. In bone-marker assessments, 33/38 (87%) and 26/34 (76%) had decreases in urinary N-telopeptide or bone-specific alkaline phosphatase levels, respectively. Twenty-eight patients (61%) received single-agent dasatinib following docetaxel discontinuation and had stabilization of disease for an additional 1–12 months.
The high objective response rate and favorable toxicity profile are promising and justify randomized studies of docetaxel and dasatinib in CRPC. Parallel declines in levels of PSA and bone markers are consistent with co-targeting of epithelial and bone compartments of the cancer. Treatment with single-agent dasatinib following docetaxel cessation warrants further study.
PMCID: PMC3898168  PMID: 21976132
Dasatinib; Docetaxel; Prostate Cancer; Metastases; Bone

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