The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of low-dose (1mg) daily diethylstilbestrol (DES) for the treatment of castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Methods and Materials
A retrospective chart review was performed on patients treated with low-dose DES who had CRPC despite anti-androgen withdrawal. The study population consists of 63 patients treated in the pre- and post-chemotherapy settings based on a database review; 58 had sufficient data for efficacy, all were analyzed for safety.
A PSA decrease of ≥50% was observed in 19 of 49 pre-chemotherapy patients (39%) with a median time to progression (TTP) of 30 weeks (95% CI, 21.9, 68.7). A PSA decrease of <50% was seen in another 16 patients (33%) with a median TTP of 16.4 weeks (95% CI, 13.0, 37.6). Fourteen patients (29%) had progressive disease by PSA testing; their median TTP was 6.9 weeks (95% CI, 5.6, 12.9). Thromboembolic events included 2 patients with DVTs and 1 patient who developed primary fibrinolysis syndrome. Additional adverse events included gynecomastia in 37 of 63 patients (59%). Secondary observations include PSA responses in 3 of 9 patients treated with DES after chemotherapy progression and a high rate of PSA responses in patients retreated with DES after a drug holiday.
Low-dose DES is safe and effective in a modern cohort of men with CRPC despite anti-androgen treatment. Its potential role in the post-chemotherapy setting and the suggestion of efficacy on re-challenge merits additional consideration.
diethylstilbestrol; castrate resistant prostate cancer
The novel fusion protein, DAB389EGF, is comprised of both the catalytic and translocation domains of diphtheria toxin that are fused to the human epidermal growth factor, providing a targeting and a toxicity component. We tested DAB389EGF for anti-tumor activity in both in vitro and in vivo urinary bladder cancer models.
Human bladder cancer lines were treated with DAB389EGF and assessed for growth inhibition and clonogenic suppression. Using 6–8 week old female athymic nude mice implanted orthotopically with HTB9 cells, DAB389EGF was administered intravesically twice weekly for two weeks. The response of the luciferase expressing HTB9 cells was monitored via bioluminescence as the primary endpoint..
Treatment response with DAB389EGF was specific and robust, with an IC50 ranging from 0.5 to 15ng/ml in 8 tested bladder cancer cell lines, but greater than 50ng/ml in the EGFR-negative H520 control cell line. Simulating short duration intravesical therapy used clinically, a 2 hour treatment exposure of DAB389EGF (10ng/ml) produced clonogenic suppression in three selected bladder cancer cell lines. In vivo, luciferase activity was suppressed in 5 of 6 mice treated with DAB389EGF (70 μl (1ng/μL) per mouse), as compared to only 1 of 6 mice treated with a control DT fusion protein. Histologic assessment of tumor clearance correlated with the bioluminescent changes observed with DAB389EGF treatment. Immunocompetent mice treated with intravesical DAB389EGF did not demonstrate any non-specific systemic toxicity.
The intravesical delivery of targeted-toxin fusion proteins is a novel treatment approach for non-muscle-invasive urinary bladder cancer. With appropriate targeting, the treatments are effective and well tolerated in vivo.
The detection of circulating tumor cells (CTC) is prognostic in several cancer types. This trial examines the incidence and prognostic value of CTCs in urothelial cancer (UC).
Materials and Methods
44 subjects with UC were assessed for CTCs using CellSearch® Technology (Veridex, LLC, Raritan, NJ), using 7.5 ml of peripheral blood, sorted by magnetic separation (EpCaM positive, and immunofluorescent staining, (Cytokeratin 8, 18, or 19 positive, CD 45 negative, DAPI positive cells) to identify CTCs.
Five of 30 (17%) subjects with clinically localized and 7 of 14 (50%) patients with metastatic UC had at least 1 detectable CTC, with a range of 1–177 CTCs. Six subjects had 5 or more CTCs. FISH analysis was performed in 20 samples from 18 unique subjects, using the UroVysion probe set. Copy number gains consistent with neoplasm were observed in cases with measurable CTCs, but not in any of the CTC-negative samples tested. With a median follow-up of 337 days, all 7 metastatic subjects with detectable CTCs had died, versus 3 of 7 (43%) metastatic subjects without detectable CTCs.
CTCs were observed in 50% of the metastatic UC patients tested. FISH analysis confirmed the aneusomic chromosomal content in the CTCs. The findings suggest measurable CTCs may be prognostic for shortened survival in metastatic UC patients, although the optimal threshold for a “positive” finding is unknown. CTCs were also detected in a subset of patients with clinically-localized disease, identifying a potential high-risk, pre-operative group for future study.
Urinary Bladder Neoplasms Neoplastic Cells; Circulating Tumor Markers; Biological In Situ Hybridization; Fluorescence
Bladder cancer expresses many potential therapeutic targets of biological agents including the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). Pazopanib is a small molecule inhibitor of VEGFR-1, -2 -3, platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and c-Kit. The current study investigates the efficacy of pazopanib, both alone and in combination with docetaxel, in bladder cancer cells.
Materials and Methods
Using human bladder cancer cells HTB3, HT1376, J82, RT4, CRL1749, T24, Sup and HTB9, the treatment effect of pazopanib and cytotoxic chemotherapy was assessed using a tetrazolium-based assay. The combinatorial effect of these agents on clonogenic growth was further examined. Western blotting was employed to assess changes in relevant downstream targets including phospho-AKT, phospho-FAK, total AKT and total FAK.
Single-agent pazopanib had modest activity. However, synergy was seen with the combination of docetaxel and pazopanib in multiple these cells lines. J82 and T24 cells were selected for additional clonogenic testing due to their resistance to single-agent docetaxel chemotherapy. 1.25 nM of docetaxel had little effect on clonogenic formation; however, in combination with pazopanib, significant inhibition of colony formation was observed. This combination treatment additionally decreased phospho-AKT, an important mediator of cell survival in all cell lines, while phospho-FAK expression was variably affected.
The present study demonstrates synergistic efficacy of pazopanib with docetaxel in docetaxel-resistant bladder cancer cells. This work supports future evaluation of pazopanib with docetaxel for the treatment of bladder cancer with the potential of improved efficacy and toxicity.
Urinary bladder neoplasms; Receptors, Vascular endothelial growth factor; Taxoids; Drug Therapy; Angiogenesis inhibitors
Recognition of micro-RNA function and their contribution to the biology of disease has given a new insight into disease mechanisms, with these discoveries potentially improving clinical diagnostic and therapeutic options. miR-125b has been identified as an important regulator in various cancers, including prostate cancer, but the mechanism of this regulation remains incompletely understood. In these studies, the effect of castration on miR-125b serum expression was evaluated in mice, simulating androgen deprivation. Furthermore, miR-125b expression was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in LNCaP prostate cancer cells treated with the antiandrogen bicalutamide. Using LNCaP cells, the effect of miR-125b modulation on apoptotic protein and NCOR2, a co-repressor of androgen receptor (AR), was examined by Western blot. A 3′-untranslated region (UTR) luciferase-binding assay was performed to confirm that miR-125b targets NCOR2. We found that surgical castration induced an initial increase in the expression of circulating miR-125b in mice, while sham surgery did not. In addition, AR blockade via bicalutamide was associated with the rapid release of miR-125b into the cell culture medium of prostate cancer cells. A previously studied target of miR-125b, a regulator in the apoptotic pathway, BAK1, could not completely account for the role of miR-125b in prostate cancer. Thus, we looked for additional targets of miR-125b and found that NCOR2, which is a repressor of AR, is a direct target of miR-125b. We found that NCOR2 protein expression was blocked by mimics of miR-125b, and a luciferase-binding assay confirmed that NCOR2 is a direct target of miR-125b. Our data provide novel evidence that miR-125b is an important regulator of the AR with specific ramification for the effectiveness of antiandrogens and other hormonal therapies in prostate cancer.
androgen receptor complex; apoptosis; castration; circulating micro-RNA; prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. For decades, the cornerstone of medical treatment for advanced prostate cancer has been hormonal therapy, intended to lower testosterone levels, known as Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT). The development of hormone-resistant prostate cancer (now termed castration-resistant prostate cancer:CRPC) remains the key roadblock in successful long-term management of prostate cancer. New advancements in medical therapy for prostate cancer have added to the hormonal therapy armamentarium. These new therapeutic agents not only provide a survival benefit but also show potential for reversing hormonal resistance in metastatic CRPC, and thus redefining hormonally sensitive disease.
Long awaited data from the clinical investigation of bladder cancer in both the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings were released in 2011, setting the stage for the next generation of work in this area. The findings of a number of studies provide the first steps towards a personalized approach to this disease.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-cutaneous cancer in US men and mainly affects elderly patients, with most new diagnoses occurring in those over 65. As the geriatric population in the US continues to grow, the incidence of this disease is likewise expected to rise. Many older patients are diagnosed with advanced disease or are treated only when their disease becomes symptomatic or metastatic. The treatment options for advanced prostate cancer have increased dramatically in the last decade. It is important to understand the nuances of caring for an elderly cancer patient in order to optimally treat prostate cancer, such as the importance of using a geriatric assessment to uncover overlooked or under-reported vulnerabilities. In addition, many of the newly approved agents for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer have a unique mechanism of action and toxicities that warrant consideration when choosing therapies for older patients. This review focuses on the importance of a geriatric assessment as well as the considerations of treating elderly patients with the newer agents approved for prostate cancer.
Despite the positive impact of targeted therapies on metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), durable responses are infrequent and an unmet need exists for novel therapies with distinct mechanisms of action. We investigated the combination of recombinant Interleukin 21 (IL-21), a cytokine with unique immunostimulatory properties, plus sorafenib, a VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
In this phase 1/2 study, 52 mRCC patients received outpatient treatment with oral sorafenib 400 mg twice daily plus intravenous IL-21 (10–50 mcg/kg) on days 1–5 and 15–19 of each 7-week treatment course. The safety, antitumor activity, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of the combination were evaluated.
In phase 1 (n = 19), the maximum tolerated dose for IL-21 with the standard dose of sorafenib was determined to be 30 mcg/kg/day; grade 3 skin rash was the only dose-limiting toxicity. In phase 2, 33 previously-treated patients tolerated the combination therapy well with appropriate dose reductions; toxicities were mostly grade 1 or 2. The objective response rate was 21% and disease control rate was 82%. Two patients have durable responses that are ongoing, despite cessation of both IL-21 and sorafenib, at 41+ and 30+ months, respectively. The median progression-free survival in phase 2 was 5.6 months. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of IL-21 appeared to be preserved in the presence of sorafenib.
IL-21 plus sorafenib has antitumor activity and acceptable safety in previously treated mRCC patients. IL-21 may represent a suitable immunotherapy in further exploration of combination strategies in mRCC.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00389285
Interleukin-21; Sorafenib; Renal cell carcinoma (RCC); Immunotherapy; Cytokine; VEGF; Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI); Durable response; Targeted therapy
To determine the maximum tolerated dose per day of silybin
phosphatidylcholine (Siliphos) in patients with advanced hepatocellular
carcinoma (HCC) and hepatic dysfunction.
Patients with advanced HCC not eligible for other therapies based on
poor hepatic function were enrolled in a phase I study of silybin
phosphatidylcholine. A standard phase I design was used with 4 planned
cohorts, dose escalating from 2, 4, 8, to 12 g per day in divided doses for
Three participants enrolled in this single institution trial. All
enrolled subjects consumed 2 g per day of study agent in divided doses.
Serum concentrations of silibinin and silibinin glucuronide increased within
1 to 3 weeks. In all 3 patients, liver function abnormalities and tumor
marker α-fetoprotein progressed, but after day 56 the third patient
showed some improvement in liver function abnormalities and inflammatory
biomarkers. All 3 participants died within 23 to 69 days of enrolling into
the trial, likely from hepatic failure, but it could not be ruled out that
deaths were possibly due to the study drug.
Short-term administration of silybin phosphatidylcholine in patients
with advanced HCC resulted in detectable increases in silibinin and its
metabolite, silibinin glucuronide. The maximum tolerated dose could not be
established. Since patients died soon after enrollment, this patient
population may have been too ill to benefit from an intervention designed to
improve liver function tests.
phase I clinical trial; milk thistle; hepatocellular carcinoma; herbal supplement; dietary supplement
Abiraterone acetate, an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor, improves overall survival (OS) in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) post-chemotherapy. Many mCRPC patients never receive chemotherapy and thus cannot benefit from abiraterone acetate; we evaluated this agent in mCRPC patients who had not received chemotherapy.
In this double-blind study, 1088 patients were randomized 1:1 to abiraterone acetate (1000 mg) plus prednisone (5 mg twice daily) or placebo plus prednisone. Co-primary end points were radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) and OS. Secondary end points measured clinically relevant landmarks of mCRPC progression. Patient-reported outcomes included pain progression and quality of life.
The study was unblinded after a planned interim analysis (IA) at 43% of OS events. Treatment with abiraterone acetate-prednisone resulted in a 57% reduction in the risk of radiographic progression or death (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.35 to 0.52; P<0.001; 13% OS events IA) and an estimated 25% decrease in the risk of death (HR, 0.75; 95% CI: 0.61 to 0.93; P=0.009; 43% OS events IA). Secondary end points supported superiority of abiraterone acetate-prednisone: time to cytotoxic chemotherapy initiation, opiate use for cancer-related pain, prostate-specific antigen progression (all P<0.001) and performance status deterioration (P=0.005). Self-reported time to pain progression and patient functional status degradation favored abiraterone acetate-prednisone (P=0.05 and P=0.003). Grade 3/4 mineralocorticoid-related adverse events and liver function test abnormalities were more common with abiraterone acetate-prednisone.
Abiraterone acetate produces OS and rPFS benefits, as well as significant delays in clinical deterioration and initiation of chemotherapy, in mCRPC.
Abiraterone acetate; prednisone; metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer; androgen; CYP17
Sorafenib and sunitinib cause hypothyroidism in a subset of patients. This retrospective study examined the incidence of hypothyroidism and its relationship to progression-free survival in renal cell carcinoma. We found that hypothyroidism occurs more frequently in patients treated with sunitinib and correlates with a longer progression-free survival, which could be useful as a biomarker for response to therapy.
Sunitinib and sorafenib are tyrosine kinase inhibitors used in metastatic renal cell carcinoma and are known to cause hypothyroidism in a subset of patients. The goal of this study was to better characterize the development of hypothyroidism in patients and to examine its relationship to progression-free survival.
Patients and Methods
A retrospective chart review was performed on patients treated with sunitinib or sorafenib from January 1, 2005, to January 1, 2011. Data pertaining to the treatment course and development of hypothyroidism were extracted. Patients with hypothyroidism at the beginning of treatment were analyzed separately.
A total of 73 treatment periods had sufficient data to analyze. Among patients with normal baseline thyroid function, 15 (44%) of 34 patients treated with sunitinib and 6 (27%) of 22 patients treated with sorafenib developed hypothyroidism. The hazard ratio for the development of hypothyroidism with sorafenib vs. sunitinib treatment was significant, at 0.38 (95% CI, 0.14–0.97). There was a statistically significant difference in the progression-free survival between patients who developed hypothyroidism while receiving treatment compared with those who did not, 18.2 vs. 10.1 months (P = .01).
This study demonstrated a significant difference in the incidence of hypothyroidism during treatment with sunitinib and sorafenib, with a higher incidence of hypothyroidism in patients treated with sunitinib. The development of hypothyroidism was associated with a longer progression-free survival.
Biologic markers; Enzyme inhibitors; Hypothyroidism; Kidney neoplasms; Protein kinase inhibitors; Sorafenib; Sunitinib
The development of the Cre recombinase-controlled (Cre/LoxP) technique allows the manipulation of specific tumorigenic genes, temporarily and spatially. Our original intention of this study was to investigate the role of Kras and p53 in the development of urinary bladder cancer. First, to validate the effect of intravesical delivery on Cre recombination (Adeno-Cre), we examined activity and expression of β-galactosidase in the bladder of control ROSA transgenic mice. The results confirmed specific recombination as evidenced by β-galactosidase activity in the bladder urothelium of these mice. Then, we administered the same adenovirus into the bladder of double transgenic KrasLSLG12D/+. p53fl/fl mice. The virus solution was held in place by a distal urethral retention suture for 2 hours. To our surprise, there was a rapid development of a spindle-cell tumor with sarcoma characteristics near the suture site, within the pelvic area but outside the urinary track. Since we did not see any detectable β-galactosidase in the area outside of the bladder in the validating (control) experiment, we interpreted that this sarcoma formation was likely due to transduction by Adeno-Cre in the soft tissue of the suture site. To avoid the loss of skin integrity associated with the retention suture, we transitioned to an alternative technique without suture to retain the Adeno-Cre into the bladder cavity. Interestingly, although multiple Adeno-Cre treatments were applied, only urothelial hyperplasia but not carcinogenesis was observed in the subsequent experiments of up to 6 months. In conclusion, we observed that the simultaneous inactivation of p53 and activation of Kras induces quick formation of spindle-cell sarcoma in the soft tissues adjacent to the bladder but slow formation of urothelial hyperplasia inside the bladder. These results strongly suggest that the effect of oncogene regulation to produce either hyperplasia or carcinogenesis greatly depends on the tissue type.
Biosynthesis of extragonadal androgen may contribute to the progression of castration-resistant prostate cancer. We evaluated whether abiraterone acetate, an inhibitor of androgen biosynthesis, prolongs overall survival among patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have received chemotherapy.
We randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, 1195 patients who had previously received docetaxel to receive 5 mg of prednisone twice daily with either 1000 mg of abiraterone acetate (797 patients) or placebo (398 patients). The primary end point was overall survival. The secondary end points included time to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression (elevation in the PSA level according to prespecified criteria), progression-free survival according to radiologic findings based on prespecified criteria, and the PSA response rate.
After a median follow-up of 12.8 months, overall survival was longer in the abiraterone acetate–prednisone group than in the placebo–prednisone group (14.8 months vs. 10.9 months; hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.77; P<0.001). Data were unblinded at the interim analysis, since these results exceeded the preplanned criteria for study termination. All secondary end points, including time to PSA progression (10.2 vs. 6.6 months; P<0.001), progression-free survival (5.6 months vs. 3.6 months; P<0.001), and PSA response rate (29% vs. 6%, P<0.001), favored the treatment group. Mineralocorticoid-related adverse events, including fluid retention, hypertension, and hypokalemia, were more frequently reported in the abiraterone acetate–prednisone group than in the placebo–prednisone group.
The inhibition of androgen biosynthesis by abiraterone acetate prolonged overall survival among patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who previously received chemotherapy. (Funded by Cougar Biotechnology; COU-AA-301 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00638690.)
Men with high-risk features (extraprostatic extension or high Gleason grade) face a high risk of prostate cancer recurrence after radical prostatectomy. Clinical trials of adjuvant systemic therapy for such patients have been limited.
Patients and Methods
The SWOG (Southwest Oncology Group) S9921 study randomly assigned 983 men with high-risk features at prostatectomy to receive adjuvant therapy with androgen deprivation (ADT) alone or in combination with mitoxantrone chemotherapy. ADT consisted of goserelin and bicalutamide for 2 years.
Although the final primary treatment comparison results are not ready for publication, this article reports results in the ADT-alone control arm with a median follow-up of 4.4 years. For these 481 men, the estimated 5-year biochemical failure-free survival is 92.5% (95% CI, 90 to 95), and 5-year overall survival is 95.9% (95% CI, 93.9 to 97.9).
The results of this trial, taken in context, make a compelling argument for counseling all high-risk patients with prostate cancer about adjuvant ADT. This article discusses the challenges in the design and implementation of clinical trials to take the next step forward in adjuvant therapy for prostate cancer because of the excellent survival achieved with currently available therapies and highlights the need for better molecular markers to personalize care.
Prostate cancer (PCa), like most human cancers, features dysregulated CD44 expression. Expression of CD44 standard (CD44s), present in benign epithelium, is lost in PCa while pro-invasive splice variant isoform CD44v7-10 is overexpressed. The role of CD44 in silibinin's anti-growth effects was uncertain. To assess silibinin's effects on CD44 promoter activity, PC-3M PCa cells were transfected with luciferase-CD44 promoter construct 24 h prior to 25–200 μM silibinin treatment for 48 h. Also, cells' expression of CD44 RNA (by qRT-PCR) and protein (Western blot analysis) was studied. Silibinin was further tested preoperatively on a pilot cohort of 6 men with PCa compared with 7 matched placebo-treated men, with immunostaining for CD44v7-10 in their prostates. In PC-3M cells, silibinin dose-dependently inhibited CD44 promoter activity up to 87%, caused a 90% inhibition of total CD44 and 70% decrease in CD44v7-10 RNA, and at the protein level, decreased total CD44 at 100–200 μM dose and decreased CD44v7-10 after 3 days. Silibinin decreased adhesion to hyaluronan and fibronectin. Silibinin at 100–200 μM inhibited Egr-1, a regulator of CD44 promoter activity. Men treated with silibinin did not differ in tissue CD44v7-10 expression. In conclusion, CD44 inhibition is one mechanism by which silibinin reduces PCa tumorigenicity.
Silibinin, prostatic neoplasms; CD44; plasmid; alternate splicing; adhesion
Although tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) are the most common first-line therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma, high-dose interleukin-2 (HD-IL2) remains the only agent that provides durable complete responses. The optimal sequence of these agents remains uncertain. This retrospective multi-institutional study examined the safety and efficacy of HD-IL2 following TKI therapy. After IRB approval at 7 HD-IL2 centers, data relating to patient, disease, and treatment characteristics among 40 consecutive patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who were treated with HD-IL2 after at least 1 prior TKI therapy were retrospectively collected. The most common cardiac adverse events were grade 3 hypotension and vascular leak syndrome. Six patients (15%) experienced other grade ≥3 cardiac adverse events. There were 2 treatment-related deaths due to congestive heart failure, occurring in 1 patient with short TKI to HD-IL2 interval and another patient with an abnormal baseline cardiac stress test. Best responses included 2 CRs (5%, duration 40+ and 62+ mo), 3 PRs (8%, duration 6, 11, and 24 mo), 13 SD (32%, median duration 12 mo), 20 PD (50%), and 2 not evaluable patients. Median overall survival was 22 months. Administration of HD-IL2 could be safe and effective after TKI therapy; however, careful selection of patients is critical. We recommend baseline cardiac risk factor assessment, screening with both cardiac stress test and echocardiogram, and allowing a TKI to HD-IL2 interval of at least 2 months.
high-dose interleukin-2; tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI); renal cell carcinoma; sunitinib; sorafenib