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1.  A phase 2 study of KX2-391, an oral inhibitor of Src kinase and tubulin polymerization, in men with bone-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer 
KX2-391 is an oral non–ATP-competitive inhibitor of Src kinase and tubulin polymerization. In phase 1 trials, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) declines were seen in patients with advanced prostate cancer. We conducted a single-arm phase 2 study evaluating KX2-391 in men with chemotherapy-naïve bone-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
We treated 31 patients with oral KX2-391 (40mg twice-daily) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was 24-week progression-free survival (PFS); a 50% success rate was predefined as clinically significant. Secondary endpoints included PSA progression-free survival (PPFS) and PSA response rates. Exploratory outcomes included pharmacokinetic studies, circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration, and analysis of markers of bone resorption (urinary N-telopeptide [uNTx]; C-telopeptide [CTx]) and formation (bone alkaline phosphatase [BAP]; osteocalcin).
The trial closed early after accrual of 31 patients, due to a prespecified futility rule. PFS at 24 weeks was 8%, and median PFS was 18.6 weeks. The PSA response rate (≥30% decline) was 10%, and median PPFS was 5.0 weeks. Additionally, 18% of men with unfavorable (≥5) CTCs at baseline converted to favorable (<5) CTCs with treatment. The proportion of men with declines in bone turnover markers was 32% for uNTx, 21% for CTx, 10% for BAP, and 25% for osteocalcin. In pharmacokinetic studies, median Cmax was 61 (range 16–129) ng/mL, and median AUC was 156 (35–348) ng*hr/mL. Common toxicities included hepatic derangements, myelosuppression, fatigue, nausea and constipation.
KX2-391 dosed at 40mg twice-daily lacks antitumor activity in men with CRPC, but has modest effects on bone turnover markers. Because a Cmax of ≥142 ng/mL is required for tubulin polymerization inhibition (defined from preclinical studies), higher once-daily dosing will be used in future trials.
PMCID: PMC3609871  PMID: 23314737
KX2-391; prostate cancer; Src inhibitor; tubulin polymerization
2.  Repurposing Itraconazole as a Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer: A Noncomparative Randomized Phase II Trial in Men With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 
The Oncologist  2013;18(2):163-173.
A noncomparative, randomized, phase II study evaluating the antitumor efficacy of two doses of oral itraconazole was conducted in men with metastatic prostate cancer.
The antifungal drug itraconazole inhibits angiogenesis and Hedgehog signaling and delays tumor growth in murine prostate cancer xenograft models. We conducted a noncomparative, randomized, phase II study evaluating the antitumor efficacy of two doses of oral itraconazole in men with metastatic prostate cancer.
Patients and Methods.
We randomly assigned 46 men with chemotherapy-naïve metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) to receive low-dose (200 mg/day) or high-dose (600 mg/day) itraconazole until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression-free survival (PPFS) rate at 24 weeks; a 45% success rate in either arm was prespecified as constituting clinical significance. Secondary endpoints included the progression-free survival (PFS) rate and PSA response rate (Prostate Cancer Working Group criteria). Exploratory outcomes included circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration, serum androgen measurements, as well as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analyses.
The high-dose arm enrolled to completion (n = 29), but the low-dose arm closed early (n = 17) because of a prespecified futility rule. The PPFS rates at 24 weeks were 11.8% in the low-dose arm and 48.0% in the high-dose arm. The median PFS times were 11.9 weeks and 35.9 weeks, respectively. PSA response rates were 0% and 14.3%, respectively. In addition, itraconazole had favorable effects on CTC counts, and it suppressed Hedgehog signaling in skin biopsy samples. Itraconazole did not reduce serum testosterone or dehydroepiandrostenedione sulfate levels. Common toxicities included fatigue, nausea, anorexia, rash, and a syndrome of hypokalemia, hypertension, and edema.
High-dose itraconazole (600 mg/day) has modest antitumor activity in men with metastatic CRPC that is not mediated by testosterone suppression.
PMCID: PMC3579600  PMID: 23340005
Itraconazole; Prostate cancer; Angiogenesis; Hedgehog pathway
3.  Clinical Evaluation of Abiraterone in the Treatment of Metastatic Prostate Cancer 
Treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer remains an area of unmet medical need. Evidence suggests that this entity continues to be driven by androgens and androgen receptor (AR) signaling. Abiraterone acetate, a pregnenolone derivative, is an oral selective and irreversible inhibitor of the key steroidogenic enzyme CYP17. It possesses dual 17-α hydroxylase and C17,20-lyase blocking activity, the result of which is decreased gonadal and extra-gonadal androgen synthesis. Abiraterone was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 following the demonstration of superior survival compared with placebo in the post-docetaxel population. Since that time, more evidence has been generated from preclinical studies and clinical trials which have considerably enhanced our understanding of this complex disease. In this paper, we review the development of abiraterone acetate, its pharmacological characteristics, and its effects on the androgen-AR signaling axis, along with the combined experience from clinical trials. We also discuss some of the ongoing trials using this agent, as well as potential mechanisms of abiraterone resistance, novel bio-marker development, and future directions using AR-directed therapies.
PMCID: PMC3904375  PMID: 24482578
Abiraterone; Androgen receptor; CYP17; prostate cancer
5.  Surgical Resection of Malignant Melanoma Metastatic to the Pancreas: Case Series and Review of Literature 
Malignant melanoma only rarely metastasizes to the pancreas. As such, there is limited medical literature on the clinical course and outcomes for patients who have undergone surgical management of these tumors. The aim of our study was to review our experience with the surgical resection of melanoma metastatic to the pancreas.
The records of five patients (four females, one male) with surgically resected melanoma metastatic to the pancreas were retrospectively reviewed. Tumor characteristics, patient presentation, operative details, and follow-up data were evaluated.
The primary site of melanoma was known in three cases and unknown in two cases. Four patients were symptomatic at presentation, including abdominal pain (n=3), jaundice (n=2), abdominal distension (n=1), bleeding metastases (n=1), and fatigue (n=1). In one patient, the metastasis was an incidental discovery. Surgical resection was accomplished by pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy in four patients and distal pancreatectomy in one patient. Single-site resection was done in two patients while the other three underwent synchronous multiple-site resections. Complications developed post-operatively in three patients. Two patients had progression of disease in the form of new metastatic lesions and received subsequent chemotherapy. The median survival was 11.4 months (range, 3–26 months).
Aggressive surgical management of pancreatic metastases provides palliative relief of symptoms and may be considered in appropriately selected candidates.
PMCID: PMC3742086  PMID: 21912850
Melanoma; Metastases; Pancreas; Surgery
6.  The Experience with Cytotoxic Chemotherapy in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 
PMCID: PMC3742094  PMID: 23084532
Cytotoxic chemotherapy; Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer; Docetaxel
7.  The effect of clinical trial participation versus non-participation on overall survival in men receiving first-line docetaxel-containing chemotherapy for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer 
BJU international  2012;110(11 0 0):E575-E582.
To study differences in baseline characteristics and outcomes of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) receiving first-line docetaxel-containing chemotherapy on prospective clinical studies (trial participants) versus those receiving this therapy outside of a clinical study (non-participants).
Records from 247 consecutive chemotherapy-naive patients who were treated with docetaxel-containing chemotherapy for mCRPC at a single high-volume centre from 1998 to 2010 were reviewed.
All patients received docetaxel either as clinical trial participants (n = 142; 11 separate studies) or as non-participants (n = 105).
Univariable and multivariable Cox regression models predicted overall survival after chemotherapy initiation.
There was no significant difference between trial participation and non-participation with respect to patient age, type of primary treatment, tumour grade or clinical stage.
Multivariable analyses showed a significantly lower risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 0.567; P = 0.027) among trial participants vs non-participants.
Patients that were treated with docetaxel for mCRPC showed a significantly longer overall survival when enrolled in a clinical trial.
Improved survival in trial participants may reflect the better medical oversight typically seen in patients enrolled in trials, more regimented follow-up schedules, or a positive effect on caregivers’ attitudes because of greater contact with medical services.
With the retrospective nature of this analysis and the small study population, prospective studies are needed to validate the present findings and to further investigate the relationship between clinical trial participation and outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3715077  PMID: 22702837
prostate cancer; chemotherapy; clinical trial; metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer; docetaxel; overall survival
8.  Prostate angiosarcoma: is there any association with previous radiation therapy? 
BJU international  2012;110(11 0 0):E819-E825.
For the current review a literature search was carried out using Pubmed, EmBase, and Cochrane databases. All cases of prostate angioscaroma reported to date and observational studies evaluating the radiation associated cancer occurrence were reviewed. Despite the rarity, prostate angiosarcomas display remarkable clinical and pathological heterogeneity, and a treatment challenge. We found the association of prostate angiosarcoma with radiation therapy to be weak based upon the results from observational studies and case reports. Although radiation exposure has been suggested etiology of prostate angiosarcomas, assumption of such association is not supported by the current literature.
PMCID: PMC3715084  PMID: 22583810
prostate angiosarcoma; radiation therapy; adjuvant chemotherapy; multidisciplinary management
9.  Molecularly Targeted Agents as Radiosensitizers in Cancer Therapy—Focus on Prostate Cancer 
As our understanding of the molecular pathways driving tumorigenesis improves and more druggable targets are identified, we have witnessed a concomitant increase in the development and production of novel molecularly targeted agents. Radiotherapy is commonly used in the treatment of various malignancies with a prominent role in the care of prostate cancer patients, and efforts to improve the therapeutic ratio of radiation by technologic and pharmacologic means have led to important advances in cancer care. One promising approach is to combine molecularly targeted systemic agents with radiotherapy to improve tumor response rates and likelihood of durable control. This review first explores the limitations of preclinical studies as well as barriers to successful implementation of clinical trials with radiosensitizers. Special considerations related to and recommendations for the design of preclinical studies and clinical trials involving molecularly targeted agents combined with radiotherapy are provided. We then apply these concepts by reviewing a representative set of targeted therapies that show promise as radiosensitizers in the treatment of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3742274  PMID: 23863691
prostate cancer; radiotherapy; radiosensitizer; molecularly targeted agents; HSP90 inhibitors
10.  Abiraterone for the Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer 
Until recently, treatment options for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) were limited to only the chemotherapeutic agent docetaxel which demonstrated a survival advantage over palliative chemotherapy. Abiraterone acetate (AA) is an orally available, potent irreversible inhibitor of the adrenal microsomal enzyme cytochrome P450-17 (CYP17). In a large phase III study of AA in docetaxel-pretreated patients, AA demonstrated excellent tolerance and a 4-month survival advantage over placebo, leading to the approval of AA for docetaxel-pretreated patients by the FDA in 2011. More recently, phase III data in docetaxel-naïve patients have become available, showing clear clinical benefits in this population as well, and it is likely that the label for AA will soon be expanded to include men with CRPC who have not yet received chemotherapy. This article summarizes clinical studies of AA in CRPC patients and discusses the emerging treatment paradigm in this rapidly evolving area.
PMCID: PMC3689308  PMID: 23795335
11.  Management of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer 
European urological review  2011;6(2):90-96.
The management of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) has taken several leaps forward in the last 2 years, with the demonstration of improved overall survival with three novel agents (sipuleucel-T, cabazitaxel, and abiraterone acetate), and a significant delay in skeletal-related events observed with denosumab. The pipeline of systemic therapies in prostate cancer remains strong, as multiple agents with a diverse array of mechanisms of action are demonstrating preliminary signs of clinical benefit, leading to more definitive phase III confirmatory trials. In this review, we will discuss the evolving landscape of treatment options for men with CRPC, with a particular focus on currently approved and emerging treatment options for these patients. Knowledge of these evolving standards will help to optimize delivery of care and long term outcomes in men with advanced CRPC.
PMCID: PMC3685202  PMID: 23789039
castration-resistant prostate cancer; novel therapies; drug development; sipuleucel-T; cabazitaxel; abiraterone; denosumab; orteronel; MDV3100; ipilimumab
12.  Management of Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer After Local Therapy: Evolving Standards of Care and New Directions 
Among men treated with prostatectomy or radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer, the state of an increasing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level is known as biochemical recurrence (BCR). BCR can be predictive of the development of subsequent distant metastases and ultimately death, but BCR often predates other signs of clinical progression by several years. Although patients may be concerned about their rising PSA levels, physicians attempting to address patient anxiety must inform them that BCR is not typically associated with imminent death from disease, and that the natural history of biochemical progression may be prolonged. Misinterpretation of the significance of early changes in PSA may cause patients to receive androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) prematurely, especially in settings where the disease is unlikely to impact survival. In addition, knowledge of the morbidities associated with ADT (hot flashes, impotence, sarcopenia, metabolic syndrome, bone loss, and increased risk of vascular disease) has accelerated the search for alternative treatment options for these patients. Clinical trials investigating when and how to best use and supplement hormonal therapies in this patient population are under way, as are trials of novel nonhormonal targeted agents, immunotherapies, natural products, and other pharmaceuticals that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other indications. This review will summarize the acceptable standards of care for the management of biochemically recurrent prostate cancer, and will also outline some novel experimental approaches for the treatment of this disease state.
PMCID: PMC3624708  PMID: 23416859
Prostate cancer; biochemical recurrence; PSA recurrence
13.  Enzalutamide: an evidence-based review of its use in the treatment of prostate cancer 
Core Evidence  2013;8:27-35.
Enzalutamide is an oral androgen receptor (AR) signaling inhibitor that was specifically engineered to overcome castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) harboring AR amplification or overexpression. Enzalutamide has demonstrated significant activity in men with metastatic CRPC.
To update the evidence and provide an overview of the available data on enzalutamide.
Evidence review
Peer reviewed articles published and listed in Medline Search were reviewed. In addition, relevant ASCO and ESMO abstracts were searched. The activity of enzalutamide is mediated by potently antagonizing the full-length AR, impairing translocation of the AR from the cytoplasm into the nucleus, and inhibiting the transcriptional activity of the AR by modulating the interaction of the AR with androgen-response elements in gene promoter regions. Enzalutamide has a favorable safety profile and the most common adverse events include fatigue, hot flashes and headache; 1% of patients experienced seizure.
Place in Therapy
The AFFIRM phase III study evaluated the clinical utility of treatment with enzalutamide in men with docetaxel-refractory metastatic CRPC. Enzalutamide improved overall survival compared to placebo, with a median overall survival of 18.4 months versus 13.6 months respectively.
Enzalutamide has demonstrated impressive efficacy in men with metastatic CRPC, moving swiftly from a phase I/II study to two pivotal phase III trials testing this agent in both chemotherapy-pretreated as well as chemotherapy-naïve CRPC patients. Ongoing studies are aiming to explore the utility of enzalutamide in earlier stages of the disease, and to investigate the optimal sequencing and combination of enzalutamide with other standard and novel therapies for prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3622394  PMID: 23589709
castration-resistant prostate cancer; enzalutamide; MDV3100; antiandrogen; androgen receptor
14.  Lenalidomide Modulates IL-8 and Anti-Prostate Antibody Levels in Men with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer 
The Prostate  2011;72(5):487-498.
We retrospectively explored changes in immunological parameters in men with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer treated with either 5mg or 25mg of lenalidomide in a randomized phase 2 trial, and determined whether those changes correlated with disease progression.
Cytokine levels were compared for each patient at baseline and after 6 months of treatment with lenalidomide. Regression models for correlated data were used to assess associations of cytokine levels with lenalidomide treatment effect. Estimates were obtained using generalized estimating equations (GEE). Changes in circulating anti-prostate antibodies were evaluated using a high-throughput immunoblot technique.
Treatment with lenalidomide was associated with global changes in immune-reactivity to a number of prostate-associated antigens, as well as with changes in circulating levels of the TH2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IL-13. Disease progression in treated patients was associated with an increase in circulating IL-8 levels, while IL-8 levels decreased significantly in non-progressors.
Lenalidomide demonstrates immunomodulatory properties in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. The induction of novel anti-prostate antibodies is a potential mechanism for lenalidomide response. Changes in serum IL-8 levels may serve as a potential biomarker in treated patients. These hypotheses require formal testing in future prospective trials.
PMCID: PMC3248613  PMID: 21748755
prostate cancer; antibody; cytokine; IL-8; lenalidomide
15.  Changes in PSA Kinetics Predict Metastasis-Free Survival in Men with PSA-Recurrent Prostate Cancer Treated with Non-Hormonal Agents: Combined Analysis of 4 Phase II Trials 
Cancer  2012;118(6):1533-1542.
Several phase II trials in men with non-castrate PSA-recurrent prostate cancer have assessed the impact of novel non-hormonal agents on PSA kinetics. However, it is unknown whether changes in PSA kinetics influence metastasis-free survival (MFS).
We performed a retrospective post hoc analysis of 146 men treated in four phase II trials examining the investigational agents marimastat (a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor; n=39), imatinib (a tyrosine kinase inhibitor; n=25), ATN-224 (a copper/zinc-superoxide dismutase inhibitor; n=22), and lenalidomide (an antiangiogenic/immunomodulatory drug; n=60). We investigated factors influencing MFS, including within-subject changes in PSA kinetics (PSA slope, doubling time, and velocity) before and after treatment initiation.
After a median follow-up of 16.8 months, 70 patients (47.9%) developed metastases. In multivariable Cox regression models, factors that were independently predictive of MFS after adjusting for age and other clinical prognostic variables were baseline PSA doubling time (PSADT) (P=.05), baseline PSA slope (P=.01), on-study change in PSADT (P=.02), and on-study change in PSA slope (P=.03). In a landmark Kaplan-Meier analysis, median MFS was 63.5 months (95% CI 34.6–not reached) and 28.9 months (95% CI 13.5–68.0) for men with or without any decrease in PSA slope by 6 months after treatment, respectively.
This hypothesis-generating analysis suggests that within-subject changes in PSADT and PSA slope after initiation of experimental therapy may correlate with MFS in men with biochemically-recurrent prostate cancer. If validated in prospective trials, changes in PSA kinetics may represent a reasonable intermediate endpoint for screening new agents in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3252493  PMID: 21960118
16.  Phase I rapid dose-escalation study of AGS-1C4D4, a human anti-PSCA (prostate stem cell antigen) monoclonal antibody, in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer: a PCCTC trial 
AGS-1C4D4 is a human monoclonal antibody against prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA), a cell-surface protein expressed by most prostate cancers. AGS-1C4D4 is produced in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and has an identical sequence to AGS-PSCA, an anti-PSCA antibody produced in mouse hybridoma cells that has completed Phase I testing. Preclinical studies demonstrated comparability of AGS-1C4D4 to AGS-PSCA with respect to pharmacokinetics (PK) and tumor inhibition. However, because of differences in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity between AGS-PSCA and AGS-1C4D4, a limited Phase I trial using AGS-1C4D4 was performed evaluating safety and PK.
Patients and method
Thirteen patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer were enrolled. AGS-1C4D4 was administered intravenously every 3 weeks for four planned doses at 6, 12, 24, or 48 mg/kg. Primary endpoints were safety and PK. Secondary endpoints were immunogenicity and clinical activity. Disease assessments were conducted every 12 weeks and included radiographic and PSA evaluations. Patients with stable disease could receive extended treatment beyond four infusions.
Adverse events were primarily grade 1–2, without any grade 3–4 drug-related toxicities or infusion reactions. Anti-AGS-1C4D4 antibodies were not detected. Similar to AGS-PSCA, serum AGS-1C4D4 concentrations declined biphasically and elimination was characterized by slow clearance (CL) and a long terminal half-life (t1/2). Median CL for the four dose levels ranged from 0.10 to 0.14 ml/h kg, and t1/2 ranged from 2.2 to 2.9 weeks. No PSA reductions ≥50% were observed. Six patients (46%) had radiographically stable disease, lasting a median of 24 weeks.
AGS-1C4D4 was well-tolerated and demonstrated linear PK. Despite preclinical differences in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, AGS-1C4D4 and AGS-PSCA have similar safety and PK profiles. The recommended Phase II dose is 48 mg/kg.
PMCID: PMC3586214  PMID: 22020316
AGS-1C4D4; Castration-resistant prostate cancer; Monoclonal antibody; Phase I; PSCA
17.  Tumorigenic potential of circulating prostate tumor cells 
Oncotarget  2013;4(3):413-421.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have received intense scientific scrutiny because they travel in the bloodstream and are therefore well situated to mediate hematogenous metastasis. However, the potential of CTCs to actually form new tumors has not been tested. Popular methods of isolating CTCs are biased towards larger, more differentiated, non-viable cells, creating a barrier to testing their tumor forming potential. Without relying on cell size or the expression of differentiation markers, our objective was to isolate viable prostate CTCs from mice and humans and assay their ability to initiate new tumors. Therefore, blood was collected from transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice and from human patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (PCa). Gradient density centrifugation or red cell lysis was used to remove erythrocytes, and then leukocytes were depleted by magnetic separation using CD45 immunoaffinity beads. CTCs fractions from TRAMP mice and PCa patients were verified by immunocytochemical staining for cytokeratin 8 and EpCAM, and inoculated into immunodeficient mice. TRAMP tumor growth was monitored by palpation. Human tumor growth formation was monitored up to 8 months by ultrasensitive PSA assays performed on mouse serum. We found viable tumor cells present in the bloodstream that were successfully isolated from mice without relying on cell surface markers. Two out of nine immunodeficient mice inoculated with TRAMP CTCs developed massive liver metastases. CTCs were identified in blood from PCa patients but did not form tumors. In conclusion, viable CTCs can be isolated without relying on epithelial surface markers or size fractionation. TRAMP CTCs were tumorigenic, so CTCs isolated in this way contain viable tumor-initiating cells. Only two of nine hosts grew TRAMP tumors and none of the human CTCs formed tumors, which suggests that most CTCs have relatively low tumor-forming potential. Future studies should identify and target the highly tumorigenic cells.
PMCID: PMC3717304  PMID: 23530114
Circulating tumor cells; EpCAM; prostate cancer; prostate-specific antigen; TRAMP mouse
18.  An Immunohistochemical Signature Comprising PTEN, MYC, and Ki67 Predicts Progression in Prostate Cancer Patients Receiving Adjuvant Docetaxel After Prostatectomy 
Cancer  2012;118(24):6063-6071.
Loss of the tumor suppressor PTEN is common in prostate cancer and may have prognostic significance. The authors examined PTEN and additional protein markers in primary tumors from patients with high-risk, localized prostate cancer who received adjuvant docetaxel in a prospective multicenter trial (TAX2501).
Fifty-six of 77 patients enrolled in TAX2501 had primary prostatectomy specimens available for immunohistochemical analysis of PTEN, MYC, ERG, tumor protein p53 (p53), antigen KI-67 (Ki67), and phosphorylated forms of Akt, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and S6 ribosomal protein. Protocol-defined progression included a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level ≥0.4 ng/mL, radiologic/clinical recurrence, or death. Univariate and multivariable proportional hazards regression analyses were used to investigate the influence of PTEN status (and other protein markers) on progression-free survival (PFS).
In this exploratory, post hoc analysis, PTEN protein loss (vs presence) was observed in 61% of patients and was associated with lower preoperative PSA levels, higher clinical stage, lower Ki67 expression, the presence of p53, and the presence of ERG. In univariate analysis, the factors associated with PFS included Gleason sum, seminal vesicle invasion, PTEN status, MYC expression, and Ki67 expression. In multivariable analysis, only 3 variables emerged as independent prognostic factors for PFS: PTEN status (P = .035), MYC expression (P = .001), and Ki67 expression (P < .001). A prognostic model was constructed that incorporated clinical covariates as well as information on PTEN, MYC, and Ki67.
The current results indicated that PTEN status, MYC expression, and Ki67 expression in primary tumor samples may predict PFS more accurately than clinical factors alone in men with high-risk prostate cancer who receive adjuvant docetaxel after prostatectomy. If validated, these hypothesis-generating findings may have prognostic and therapeutic implications and may aid clinical trial design.
PMCID: PMC3572534  PMID: 22674438
PTEN; MYC; Ki67; high-risk prostate cancer; adjuvant docetaxel; progression-free survival; prognostic model
19.  A non-comparative randomized phase II study of two doses of ATN-224, a copper/zinc superoxide dismutase inhibitor, in patients with biochemically recurrent hormone-naïve prostate cancer 
Urologic oncology  2011;null.
ATN-224 (choline tetrathiomolybdate) is an oral Cu2+/Zn2+-superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) inhibitor with preclinical antitumor activity. We hypothesized that ATN-224 may induce antitumor effects as an antiangiogenic agent at low dose-levels while possessing direct antitumor activity at higher dose-levels. The objective of this study was to screen its clinical activity in patients with biochemically recurrent hormone-naïve prostate cancer.
Biochemically-recurrent prostate cancer patients with prostate specific antigen doubling times (PSADT) <12 months, no radiographic evidence of metastasis, and no hormonal therapy within 6 months (with serum testosterone levels >150 ng/dL) were eligible. ATN-224 was administered at two dose-levels, 300 mg (n=23) or 30 mg (n=24) daily, by way of randomization. PSA progression was defined as a ≥50% increase (and >5 ng/mL) in PSA from baseline or post-treatment nadir. Endpoints included the proportion of patients who were free of PSA progression at 24 weeks, changes in PSA slope/PSADT, and safety. The study was not powered to detect differences between the two treatment groups.
At 24 weeks, 59% (95% CI 33–82%) of men in the low-dose arm and 45% (95% CI 17–77%) in the high-dose arm were PSA progression-free. Median PSA progression-free survival was 30 weeks (95% CI 21–40+) and 26 weeks (95% CI 24–39+) in the low-dose and high-dose groups, respectively. Pre- and on-treatment PSA kinetics analyses showed a significant mean PSA slope decrease (p=0.006) and a significant mean PSADT increase (p=0.032) in the low-dose arm only. Serum ceruloplasmin levels, a biomarker for ATN-224 activity, were lowered in the high-dose group, but did not correlate with PSA changes.
Low-dose ATN-224 (30 mg daily) may have biologic activity in men with biochemically-recurrent prostate cancer, as suggested by an improvement in PSA kinetics. However, the clinical significance of PSA kinetics changes in this patient population remains uncertain. The absence of a dose-response effect also reduces enthusiasm, and there are currently no plans to further develop this agent in prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3227793  PMID: 21816640
20.  The natural history of metastatic progression in men with prostate-specific antigen recurrence after radical prostatectomy: long-term follow-up 
BJU international  2011;109(1):32-39.
To describe metastasis-free survival (MFS) in men with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence following radical prostatectomy, and to define clinical prognostic factors modifying metastatic risk.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of 450 men treated with prostatectomy at a tertiary hospital between July 1981 and July 2010 who developed PSA recurrence (≥0.2 ng/mL) and never received adjuvant or salvage therapy before the development of metastatic disease.
We estimated MFS using the Kaplan–Meier method, and investigated factors influencing the risk of metastasis using Cox proportional hazards regression.
Median follow-up after prostatectomy was 8.0 years, and after biochemical recurrence was 4.0 years. At last follow-up, 134 of 450 patients (29.8%) had developed metastases, while median MFS was 10.0 years.
Using multivariable regressions, two variables emerged as independently predictive of MFS: PSA doubling time (<3.0 vs 3.0–8.9 vs 9.0–14.9 vs ≥15.0 months) and Gleason score (≤6 vs 7 vs 8–10).
Using these stratifications of Gleason score and PSA doubling time, tables were constructed to predict median, 5- and 10-year MFS after PSA recurrence. In different patient subsets, median MFS ranged from 1 to 15 years.
In men undergoing prostatectomy, MFS after PSA recurrence is variable and is most strongly influenced by PSA doubling time and Gleason score. These parameters serve to stratify men into different risk groups with respect to metastatic progression.
Our findings may provide the background for appropriate selection of patients, treatments and endpoints for clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC3204323  PMID: 21777360
metastasis-free survival; natural history; prostate cancer; PSA recurrence
21.  The unfolding treatment landscape for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer 
Clinical investigation  2011;1(11):1533-1544.
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is a fatal disease in virtually all patients. Docetaxel chemotherapy became the standard front-line agent based on the results of the TAX327 trial in 2004, with a survival advantage of 3 months achieved over mitoxantrone. Over the past few years, an improved understanding of the molecular biology of castration-resistance has resulted in expansion of the treatment armamentarium for advanced prostate cancer with the emergence of novel androgen receptor-directed therapies, cytotoxic chemotherapies, as well as immunotherapies. Four different agents have very recently gained approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of CRPC and this review will summarize the development, mechanism of action, and safety and efficacy of these agents as demonstrated in preclinical as well as clinical studies.
PMCID: PMC3483028  PMID: 23115711
castration-resistant prostate cancer; abiraterone; MDV3100; cabazitaxel; sipuleucel T; ipilimumab; denosumab
22.  Expanding Treatment Options for Metastatic Prostate Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(21):2055-2058.
PMCID: PMC3458507  PMID: 21612475
23.  Combining immunological and androgen-directed approaches: an emerging concept in prostate cancer immunotherapy 
Current opinion in oncology  2012;24(3):258-265.
Purpose of review
The autologous antigen-presenting cell immunotherapy, sipuleucel-T, was the first and remains the only US Food and Drug Administration-approved immunotherapy for prostate cancer. In this article, we will summarize recent clinical data on several additional immune-directed strategies, some of which have now entered phase 3 trials.
Recent findings
Multiple studies are now testing sipuleucel-T in different disease settings and/or in combination with conventional and novel hormonal therapies. In addition, a poxviral-based vaccine has shown promise in early-phase clinical studies and has now entered phase 3 testing in men with metastatic prostate cancer. Next, a DNA vaccine has been evaluated in men with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer and has shown early signs of clinical efficacy. Finally, several studies are evaluating the role of immune checkpoint blockade using ipilimumab in pivotal phase 3 trials in prostate cancer patients with advanced disease, as well as in earlier phase studies in combination with androgen ablation.
The abundance of new treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer will challenge the role of immunotherapy in these patients. Future progress may rely on optimal combination and sequencing of various immunotherapies with androgen-directed approaches as well as with other standard prostate cancer therapies, an effort which is now just beginning.
PMCID: PMC3444804  PMID: 22410456
androgen ablation; immune checkpoints; immunotherapy; prostate cancer; vaccine
24.  Current status of immunological approaches for the treatment of prostate cancer 
Current opinion in urology  2012;22(3):197-202.
Purpose of review
The recent Food and Drug Administration approval of sipuleucel-T for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and of the anticytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 antibody (Ipilimumab) for metastatic melanoma has led to a renewed interest in immunotherapy for prostate and other cancers. Ipilimumab has entered phase III testing for prostate cancer, as has a viral-based anti-prostate-specific antigen vaccine (ProstVac-VF). Complementing these phase III studies are a number of innovative phase II studies, aimed at bringing immunotherapy forward in the setting of less advanced disease, as well as a number of interesting trials combining immunotherapy with conventional therapy for prostate cancer.
Recent findings
Although a number of immunotherapy trials have been initiated, few mature results are available at the current time. These data are likely to mature in the setting of an increasingly complex treatment paradigm in which multiple hormonal and novel agents are available.
Immunotherapy for prostate cancer represents an attractive treatment approach, with the currently available agent sipuleucel-T providing a significant survival benefit without appreciable toxicity. Novel approaches to improve the efficacy of this and other immune-active agents are currently under evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3444809  PMID: 22328018
immune checkpoints; immunotherapy; prostate cancer; T cell; vaccine
25.  Lenalidomide in Nonmetastatic Biochemically Relapsed Prostate Cancer: Results of a Phase I/II Double-Blinded, Randomized Study 
To evaluate the safety and activity of 6 months of treatment with lenalidomide at 5 or 25 mg/d in nonmetastatic biochemically relapsed prostate cancer.
Experimental Design
Sixty men with non-castrate, nonmetastatic, biochemically relapsed prostate cancer were stratified by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time, surgery/radiation therapy, prior androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and randomized to lenalidomide 5 mg (n = 26) or 25 mg/d (n = 34) for 3 weeks repeated monthly for 6 months or until dose-limiting toxicity or disease progression. Toxicity was evaluated monthly, and PSAs and X-rays/scans every 6 months. Study size was determined to detect a progression rate of 40% at 6 months in either arm with 85% power (compared with a rate of 80% in the population receiving no treatment). Changes in PSA slopes were calculated using the regression of the log PSA for each patient before and during the initial 6 months and compared by t test.
Baseline variables were balanced between arms. Grade 3/4 toxicity rates were 12% (n = 3) with 5 mg and 29% (n = 10) with 25 mg (P = 0.1), most commonly neutropenia (five patients, all on 25 mg). Two patients per arm had thromboembolic events. The change in PSA slope was greater with 25 mg versus 5 mg [−0.172 (−0.24 to −0.11) versus −0.033 (−0.11 to 0.04); P = 0.005]. With a mean follow-up of 31.4 months (range 14–44), five patients on 25 mg and one patient on 5 mg remain on the study.
Lenalidomide has acceptable toxicity and is associated with long-term disease stabilization and PSA declines. Randomized studies evaluating conventional clinical disease end points in this patient population are planned.
PMCID: PMC3444815  PMID: 20978144

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