There is currently no imaging biomarker for metastatic prostate cancer. The bone scan index (BSI) is a promising candidate, being a reproducible, quantitative expression of tumor burden seen on bone scintigraphy. Prior studies have shown the prognostic value of a baseline BSI. This study tested whether treatment-related changes in BSI are prognostic for survival and compared BSI to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as an outcome measure.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively examined serial bone scans from patients with castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer (CRMPC) enrolled in four clinical trials. We calculated BSI at baseline and at 3 and 6 months on treatment and performed univariate and bivariate analyses of PSA, BSI, and survival.
Eighty-eight patients were scanned, 81 of whom have died. In the univariate analysis, the log percent change in BSI from baseline to 3 and 6 months on treatment prognosticated for survival (hazard ratio [HR], 2.44; P = .0089 and HR, 2.54; P < .001, respectively). A doubling in BSI resulted in a 1.9-fold increase in risk of death. Log percent change in PSA at 6 months on treatment was also associated with survival (HR, 1.298; P = .013). In the bivariate analysis, change in BSI while adjusting for PSA was prognostic at 3 and 6 months on treatment (HR, 2.368; P = .012 and HR, 2.226; P = .002, respectively), but while adjusting for BSI, PSA was not prognostic.
These data furnish early evidence that on-treatment changes in BSI are a response indicator and support further exploration of bone scintigraphy as an imaging biomarker in CRMPC.
The contextual signals that regulate the expansion of prostate tumor progenitor cells are poorly defined. We found that a significant fraction of advanced human prostate cancers and castration-resistant metastases express high levels of the β4 integrin, which binds to laminin-5. Targeted deletion of the signaling domain of β4 inhibited prostate tumor growth and progression in response to loss of p53 and Rb function in a mouse model of prostate cancer (PB-TAg mice). Additionally, it suppressed Pten loss-driven prostate tumorigenesis in tissue recombination experiments. We traced this defect back to an inability of signaling-defective β4 to sustain self-renewal of putative cancer stem cells in vitro and proliferation of transit-amplifying cells in vivo. Mechanistic studies indicated that mutant β4 fails to promote transactivation of ErbB2 and c-Met in prostate tumor progenitor cells and human cancer cell lines. Pharmacological inhibition of ErbB2 and c-Met reduced the ability of prostate tumor progenitor cells to undergo self-renewal in vitro. Finally, we found that β4 is often coexpressed with c-Met and ErbB2 in human prostate cancers and that combined pharmacological inhibition of these receptor tyrosine kinases exerts antitumor activity in a mouse xenograft model. These findings indicate that the β4 integrin promotes prostate tumorigenesis by amplifying ErbB2 and c-Met signaling in tumor progenitor cells.
Abiraterone acetate (AA) is an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor shown to prolong life in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) already treated with chemotherapy. AA treatment results in dramatic declines in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in some patients and no declines in others, suggesting the presence of molecular determinants of sensitivity in tumors.
To study the role of transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2)–v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog (ERG) fusion, an androgen-dependent growth factor, in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as a biomarker of sensitivity to AA.
Design, setting, and participants
The predictive value of TMPRSS2-ERG status was studied in 41 of 48 men with postchemotherapy-treated CRPC enrolled in sequential phase 2 AA trials.
Patients received AA 1000 mg daily and continuously.
TMPRSS2-ERG status was characterized by a sensitive, analytically valid reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay in CTCs enriched from ethylene-diaminetetraacetic acid anticoagulated blood obtained prior to AA treatment. Outcomes were measured by PSA Working Group 1 criteria.
Results and limitations
Standard procedures for specimen acquisition, processing, and testing using the validated TMPRSS2-ERG assay on a multiplex platform gave intra-assay and interassay coefficients of variation <7%. TMPRSS2-ERG fusion was present in 15 of 41 patients (37%), who had a median baseline CTC count of 17 (interquartile range: 7–103 cells per 7.5 ml). A PSA decline ≥50% was observed in 7 of 15 patients (47%) with the fusion and in 10 of 26 patients (38%) without the fusion. Although limited by the low number of patients, a posttherapy CTC count of less than five per 7.5 ml was prognostic for longer survival relative to a CTC count five or more. TMPRSS2-ERG status did not predict a decline in PSA or other clinical outcomes.
Molecular profiles of CTCs with an analytically valid assay identified the presence of the prostate cancer–specific TMPRSS2-ERG fusion but did not predict for response to AA treatment. This finding demonstrates the role of CTCs as surrogate tissue that can be obtained in a routine practice setting.
Abiraterone; Biomarker; Circulating tumor cells; Prostate cancer; Prostate-specific antigen; TMPRSS2-ERG fusion
We have recently witnessed a rapid increase in the number of effective systemic agents for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), including novel hormonal therapies (abiraterone acetate and MDV3100), immunotherapies (sipu-leucel-T), chemotherapies (cabazitaxel), and bone microenvironment targeting agents (denosumab, radium 223). Given the increasing complexity of treatment decisions for this disease, major research and clinical priorities are (1) finding biomarkers that enable an understanding of the natural history and complex biology of this heterogeneous malignancy, (2) defining predictive biomarkers that identify men most likely to benefit from a given therapy, and (3) identifying biomarkers of early response or progression to optimize outcomes.
In this review, we discuss existing and potential biomarkers in CRPC and how they may currently inform prognosis, aid in treatment selection (predictive value), and relate to survival outcomes (surrogacy).
PubMed-based literature searches and abstracts through September 2011 provided the basis for this literature review as well as expert opinion.
We address blood and urine-based biomarkers such as prostate-specific antigen, lactate dehydrogenase, total and bone alkaline phosphatase and other bone turnover markers, hemoglobin, and circulating tumor cells in the context of prognosis, prediction, and patient selection for therapy. Given the inherent problems associated with defining progression-free survival in CRPC, the importance of biomarker development and the needed steps are highlighted. We place the discussion of bio-markers within the context of the design/intent of a trial and mechanism of action of a given systemic therapy. We discuss novel biomarker development and the pathway for surrogate or predictive biomarkers to become credentialed as useful tests that inform therapeutic decisions.
A greater understanding of biomarkers in CRPC permits a more personalized approach to care that maximizes benefit and minimizes harm and can inform clinical trials tailored to men most likely to derive benefit.
Castration-resistant prostate cancer; Biomarkers; Prognosis; Surrogate; Circulating tumor cells; PSA; Bone turnover markers; Progression-free survival
Activation of the androgen receptor is critical for prostate cancer growth at all points in the illness. Currently therapies targeting the androgen receptor, including androgen depletion approaches and antiandrogens, do not completely inhibit androgen receptor activity. Prostate cancer cells develop resistance to castration by acquiring changes such as AR overexpression that result in reactivation of the receptor. Based on understanding of these resistance mechanisms and androgen synthesis pathways, novel antiandrogens and androgen depleting agents have been tested. Notably, MDV3100, a novel antiandrogen designed for activity in prostate cancer model systems with overexpressed AR and, abiraterone acetate, a 17-α-hydroxylase/17,20 lyase inhibitor that blocks steroid biosynthesis in the adrenal gland and in the tumor, have demonstrated significant activity in early phase trials and are being tested in the phase III setting.
Pelvic lymph node (LN) metastasis is a well-recognized route of prostate cancer spread. However, the relationship between topography and pathologic features of primary prostatic cancers and patterns of pelvic LN metastasis has not been well studied. We reviewed original slides of radical prostatectomies and pelvic LN dissections from 125 patients with LN metastasis and recorded total # of LN excised / laterality of positive LN, as well as localization, staging parameters, lymphovascular invasion and tumor volume of primary tumors.
LN Quantity and Distribution
14.6 (mean) and 13 (median) LN were resected. 76 (61%), 33 (26%) and 16 (13%) cases had 1, 2 and > 2 positive LN, while 58, 44 and 20 cases had LN metastasis on the right (R), left (L), and bilaterally.
86% (108/125) and 37% (46/125) demonstrated extraprostatic extension and seminal vesicle invasion, while 64% showed lymphovascular invasion. Mean and median total tumor volume was 6.39 and 3.92 cc, with ≥ 50% and ≥ 90% Gleason patterns 4/5 in 105 (84%) and 73 (58%) cases, respectively.
Correlation with Dominant Tumor Location
Dominant lesions on RP: 50 R lobe, 44 L lobe, 31 bilateral. 15/50 (30%) R lobe and 18/44 (41%) L lobe dominant tumors had LN metastasis on the contralateral side. Only 4% (5/125) of cases were associated with anterior dominant tumors. 30–40% of LN metastases occur contralateral to the dominant tumor. LN metastasis is overwhelmingly associated with high grade, high stage and large volume disease. LN positivity is rarely associated with anterior dominant tumors.
prostate; pelvic lymph node; topography; anterior tumor; lymphovascular invasion
Recent advances in the understanding of castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) have lead to a growing number of experimental therapies, many of which are directed against the androgen-receptor (AR) signaling axis. These advances generate the need for reliable molecular imaging biomarkers to non-invasively determine efficacy, and to better guide treatment selection of these promising AR-targeted drugs.
We draw on our own experience, supplemented by review of the current literature, to discuss the systematic development of imaging biomarkers for use in the context of CRPC, with a focus on bone scintigraphy, F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) and PET imaging of the AR signaling axis.
The roadmap to biomarker development mandates rigorous standardization and analytic validation of an assay before it can be qualified successfully for use in an appropriate clinical context. The Prostate Cancer Working Group 2 (PCWG2) criteria for “radiographic” progression by bone scintigraphy serve as a paradigm of this process. Implemented by the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC), these consensus criteria may ultimately enable the co-development of more potent and versatile molecular imaging biomarkers. Purported to be superior to single-photon bone scanning, the added value of Na18F-PET for imaging of bone metastases is still uncertain. FDG-PET already plays an integral role in the management of many diseases, but requires further evaluation before being qualified in the context of CRPC. PET tracers that probe the AR signaling axis, such as 18F-FDHT and 89Zr-591, are now under development as pharmacodynamic markers, and as markers of efficacy, in tandem with FDG-PET. Semi-automated analysis programs for facilitating PET interpretation may serve as a valuable tool to help navigate the biomarker roadmap.
Molecular imaging strategies, particularly those that probe the AR signaling axis, have the potential to accelerate drug development in CRPC. The development and use of analytically valid imaging biomarkers will increase the likelihood of clinical qualification, and ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes.
We propose a standardized approach to quantitative molecular imaging (MI) in cancer patients with multiple lesions.
Twenty castration-resistant-prostate-cancer patients underwent 18F-FDG and 18F-16β-fluoro-5α-dihydrotestosterone (18F-FDHT) PET/CT scans. Using a 5-point confidence-scale, two readers interpreted co-registered scan-sets on a PET-VCAR (General Electric) workstation. 203 sites/scan (specified in a lexicon) were reviewed. 18F-FDG-positive lesion bookmarks were propagated onto 18F-FDHT studies, then manually accepted or rejected. Discordant-positive 18F-FDHT lesions were similarly bookmarked. Lesional SUVmax was recorded. Tracer and tissue-specific background correction-factors were calculated via receiver-operating-characteristic analysis of 65 scan-sets.
Readers agreed on >99% of 18F-FDG and 18F-FDHT negative-sites. Positive-site agreement was 84% and 85%, respectively. Consensus-lesion SUVmax was highly reproducible (CCC>0.98). Receiver-operating-characteristic curves yielded four correction-factors (SUVmax 1.8-2.6). A novel scatter (“LFG”) plot depicted tumor burden and ΔSUVmax for response assessments.
Multi-lesion MI is optimized with a five-step approach incorporating a confidence scale, site lexicon, semi-automated PET software, background-correction and LFG-graphing.
Molecular imaging; PET/CT; 18F-FDG; 18F-FDHT; semi-automated
To compare the diagnostic and prognostic value of FDG PET and bone scans (BS) in the assessment of osseous lesions in patients with progressing prostate cancer.
In a prospective imaging trial, 43 patients underwent FDG PET and BS prior to experimental therapies. Bone scan index (BSI) and standardized uptake value (SUV) on FDG PET were recorded. Patients were followed until death (n=36) or at least 5 years (n=7). Imaging findings were correlated with survival.
Osseous lesions were detected in 39 patients on BS and 32 on FDG PET (p=0.01). Follow-up was available for 105 FDG-positive lesions, and 84 (80%) became positive on subsequent BS. Prognosis correlated inversely with SUV (median survival 14.4 vs. 32.8 mos if SUVmax > 6.10 vs. ≤ 6.10, p=0.002) and BSI (14.7 vs. 28.2 mos if BSI >1.27 vs. < 1.27; p=0.004). Only SUV was an independent factor in multivariate analysis. In castrate resistant patients combining a nomogram for progressive prostate cancer with SUV dichotomized patients into a high vs. low risk group (median survival 14.4 vs. 34.6 mos, p=.015) more prognostic than either nomogram or SUV alone.
The current study of progressive prostate cancer confirms earlier work that BSI is a strong prognostic factor. Most FDG-only lesions at baseline become detectable on follow-up BS, suggesting their strong clinical relevance. FDG SUV is an independent prognostic factor and provides complementary prognostic information.
prostate cancer; positron emission tomography; FDG; bone scan; prognosis
In 2005, the US Department of Defense, through the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, created a funding mechanism to form a clinical trials consortium to conduct phase I and II studies in prostate cancer. This is the first report of the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC).
Patients and Methods
The Department of Defense award supports a consortium of 10 prostate cancer research centers. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center was awarded the Coordinating Center grant for the consortium and charged with creating an infrastructure to conduct early-phase multicenter clinical trials. Each participating center was required to introduce ≥ 1 clinical trial per year and maintain accrual of a minimum of 35 patients per year.
The PCCTC was launched in 2006 and now encompasses 10 leading prostate cancer research centers. Fifty-one trials have been opened, and 1386 patients have been accrued at member sites. Members share an online clinical trial management system for protocol tracking, electronic data capture, and data storage. A legal framework has been instituted, and standard operating procedures, an administrative structure, editorial support, centralized budgeting, and mechanisms for scientific review are established.
The PCCTC fulfills a congressional directive to create a clinical trials instrument dedicated to early-phase prostate cancer studies. The member institutions have built an administrative, informatics, legal, financial, statistical, and scientific infrastructure to support this endeavor. Clinical trials are open and accruing in excess of federally mandated goals.
Clinical consortium; Collaborative; Infrastructure; Phase I/II trial
A limitation in traditional stepwise population pharmacokinetic model building is the difficulty in handling interactions between model components. To address this issue, a method was previously introduced which couples NONMEM parameter estimation and model fitness evaluation to a single-objective, hybrid genetic algorithm for global optimization of the model structure. In this study, the generalizability of this approach for pharmacokinetic model building is evaluated by comparing (1) correct and spurious covariate relationships in a simulated dataset resulting from automated stepwise covariate modeling, Lasso methods, and single-objective hybrid genetic algorithm approaches to covariate identification and (2) information criteria values, model structures, convergence, and model parameter values resulting from manual stepwise versus single-objective, hybrid genetic algorithm approaches to model building for seven compounds. Both manual stepwise and single-objective, hybrid genetic algorithm approaches to model building were applied, blinded to the results of the other approach, for selection of the compartment structure as well as inclusion and model form of inter-individual and inter-occasion variability, residual error, and covariates from a common set of model options. For the simulated dataset, stepwise covariate modeling identified three of four true covariates and two spurious covariates; Lasso identified two of four true and 0 spurious covariates; and the single-objective, hybrid genetic algorithm identified three of four true covariates and one spurious covariate. For the clinical datasets, the Akaike information criterion was a median of 22.3 points lower (range of 470.5 point decrease to 0.1 point decrease) for the best single-objective hybrid genetic-algorithm candidate model versus the final manual stepwise model: the Akaike information criterion was lower by greater than 10 points for four compounds and differed by less than 10 points for three compounds. The root mean squared error and absolute mean prediction error of the best single-objective hybrid genetic algorithm candidates were a median of 0.2 points higher (range of 38.9 point decrease to 27.3 point increase) and 0.02 points lower (range of 0.98 point decrease to 0.74 point increase), respectively, than that of the final stepwise models. In addition, the best single-objective, hybrid genetic algorithm candidate models had successful convergence and covariance steps for each compound, used the same compartment structure as the manual stepwise approach for 6 of 7 (86 %) compounds, and identified 54 % (7 of 13) of covariates included by the manual stepwise approach and 16 covariate relationships not included by manual stepwise models. The model parameter values between the final manual stepwise and best single-objective, hybrid genetic algorithm models differed by a median of 26.7 % (q1 = 4.9 % and q3 = 57.1 %). Finally, the single-objective, hybrid genetic algorithm approach was able to identify models capable of estimating absorption rate parameters for four compounds that the manual stepwise approach did not identify. The single-objective, hybrid genetic algorithm represents a general pharmacokinetic model building methodology whose ability to rapidly search the feasible solution space leads to nearly equivalent or superior model fits to pharmacokinetic data.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10928-012-9258-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Pharmacokinetics; Model building; Genetic algorithms
Summary of recent advances
When prostate cancers progress following androgen depletion therapy, there are currently few treatment options with only one, docetaxel, that has been shown to prolong life. Recent work has shown that castration resistant prostate cancers (CRPC) continue to depend on androgen receptor (AR) signaling which is reactivated despite low serum androgen levels. Currently available AR targeted therapy, including GnRH agonists and antiandrogens, cannot completely shut down AR signaling. Several mechanisms that enhance AR signaling in an androgen depleted environment have been elucidated. These include AR mutations that allow activation by low androgen levels or by other endogenous steroids, AR overexpression, increased local intracrine synthesis of androgens, and upregulation of tyrosine kinase pathways. This has led to the development of a number of novel agents targeting AR signaling pathway, including more effective antiandrogens, inhibitors of CYP17, an enzyme required for androgen synthesis, inhibitors of 5α-reductase, inhibitors of HSP90 which protects AR from degradation, inhibitors of histone deacetylases which is required for optimal AR mediated transcription, as well as inhibitors of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Many of these strategies are currently being tested in clinical trials in CRPC.
To identify sources of exposure variability for the tumor growth inhibitor 17-dimethylaminoethylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-DMAG) using a population pharmacokinetic analysis.
A total 67 solid tumor patients at 2 centers were given 1 h infusions of 17-DMAG either as a single dose, daily for 3 days, or daily for 5 days. Blood samples were extensively collected and 17-DMAG plasma concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Population pharmacokinetic analysis of the 17-DMAG plasma concentration with time was performed using nonlinear mixed effect modeling to evaluate the effects of covariates, inter-individual variability, and between-occasion variability on model parameters using a stepwise forward addition then backward elimination modeling approach. The inter-individual exposure variability and the effects of between-occasion variability on exposure were assessed by simulating the 95 % prediction interval of the AUC per dose, AUC0–24 h, using the final model and a model with no between-occasion variability, respectively, subject to the five day 17-DMAG infusion protocol with administrations of the median observed dose.
A 3-compartment model with first order elimination (ADVAN11, TRANS4) and a proportional residual error, exponentiated inter-individual variability and between occasion variability on Q2 and V1 best described the 17-DMAG concentration data. No covariates were statistically significant. The simulated 95% prediction interval of the AUC0–24 h for the median dose of 36 mg/m2 was 1,059–9,007 mg/L h and the simulated 95 % prediction interval of the AUC0–24 h considering the impact of between-occasion variability alone was 2,910–4,077 mg/L h.
Population pharmacokinetic analysis of 17-DMAG found no significant covariate effects and considerable inter-individual variability; this implies a wide range of exposures in the population and which may affect treatment outcome. Patients treated with 17-DMAG may require therapeutic drug monitoring which could help achieve more uniform exposure leading to safer and more effective therapy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00280-012-1859-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
17-dimethylaminoethylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-DMAG); 3-compartment model; Heat shock protein-90; Objective function values
The Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) is a frequently used instrument designed to assess the patient-reported outcome of pain. The majority of factor analytic studies have found a two-factor (i.e., pain intensity and pain interference) structure for this instrument; however, since the BPI was developed with an a priori hypothesis of the relationship among its items, it follows that construct validity investigations should utilize confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).
The purpose of this work is to establish the construct validity of the BPI using a CFA framework and demonstrate factorial invariance using a range of demographic variables.
A retrospective CFA was completed in a sample of individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and cancer (n = 364; 63% male; age 21-92 years, M = 51.80). A baseline one-factor model was compared against two-factor and three-factor models (i.e., pain intensity, activity interference, and affective interference) that were developed based on the hypothetical design of the instrument.
Fit indices for the three-factor model were statistically superior when compared to the one-factor model and marginally better in comparison to the two-factor model. This three-factor structure was found to be invariant across disease, age, and ethnicity groups.
The results of this study provide evidence to support a three-factor representation of the BPI, as well as the originally hypothesized two-factor structure. Such findings will begin to provide clinical trialists, pharmaceutical sponsors, and regulators with confidence in the psychometric properties of this instrument when considering its inclusion in clinical research.
Factor analysis; psychometrics; pain; reproducibility of results; affective symptoms
Transcriptional activity of the androgen receptor (AR) is crucial for growth and survival of prostate cancer even upon development of resistance to androgen ablation and antiandrogen therapies. Therefore, novel therapies that can suppress AR transcriptional activity when conventional hormone therapies fail are needed. Here, we show that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, including SAHA (vorinostat) and LBH589, which are currently being tested in clinic, could be such a therapy. HDAC inhibitors block the AR-mediated transcriptional activation of many genes, including the TMPRSS2 gene involved in fusion with ETS family members in a majority of prostate cancers. Genetic knockdown of either HDAC1 or HDAC3 can also suppress expression of AR-regulated genes, recapitulating the effect of HDAC inhibitor treatment. Whereas HDAC inhibitor treatment can lower androgen receptor protein levels in prostate cancer cells, we show that independent of AR protein levels, HDAC inhibitors block AR activity through inhibiting the assembly of coactivator/RNA polymerase II complex after AR binds to the enhancers of target genes. Failed complex assembly is associated with a phase shift in the cyclical wave of AR recruitment that typically occurs in response to ligand treatment. HDAC inhibitors retain the ability to block AR activity in castration-resistant prostate cancer models and, therefore, merit clinical investigation in this setting. The HDAC-regulated AR target genes defined here can serve as biomarkers to ensure sufficient levels of HDAC inhibition.
To define the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), toxicities, and pharmacokinetics of 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) when administered using continuous and intermittent dosing schedules.
Patients with progressive solid tumor malignancies were treated with 17-AAG using an accelerated titration dose escalation schema. The starting dose and schedule were 5 mg/m2 daily for 5 days with cycles repeated every 21 days. Dosing modifications based on safety, pharmacodynamic modeling, and clinical outcomes led to the evaluation of the following schedules: daily × 3 repeated every 14 days; twice weekly (days 1, 4, 8, and 11) for 2 weeks every 3 weeks; and twice weekly (days 1 and 4) without interruption. During cycle 1, blood was collected for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies.
Fifty-four eligible patients were treated. The MTD was schedule dependent: 56 mg/m2 on the daily × 5 schedule; 112 mg/m2 on the daily × 3 schedule; and 220 mg/m2 on the days 1, 4, 8, and 11 every-21-day schedule. Continuous twice-weekly dosing was deemed too toxic because of delayed hepatotoxicity. Hepatic toxicity was also dose limiting with the daily × 5 schedule. Other common toxicities encountered were fatigue, myalgias, and nausea. This latter adverse effect may have been attributable, in part, to the DMSO-based formulation. Concentrations of 17-AAG above those required for activity in preclinical models could be safely achieved in plasma. Induction of a heat shock response and down-regulation of Akt and Raf-1 were observed in biomarker studies.
The MTD and toxicity profile of 17-AAG were schedule dependent. Intermittent dosing schedules were less toxic and are recommended for future phase II studies.
Annotation of prostate cancer genomes provides a foundation for discoveries that can impact disease understanding and treatment. Concordant assessment of DNA copy number, mRNA expression, and focused exon resequencing in 218 prostate cancer tumors identified the nuclear receptor coactivator NCOA2 as an oncogene in ~11 percent of tumors. Additionally, the androgen-driven TMPRSS2-ERG fusion was associated with a previously unrecognized, prostate-specific deletion at chromosome 3p14 that implicates FOXP1, RYBP and SHQ1 as potential cooperative tumor suppressors. DNA copy-number data from primary tumors revealed that copy-number alterations robustly define clusters of low- and high-risk disease beyond that achieved by Gleason score. The genomic and clinical outcome data from these patients is now made available as a public resource.
Sensitive detection and characterization of circulating tumor cell (CTC) could revolutionize the approach to patients with early stage and metastatic cancer. The current methodologies have significant limitations including limited capture efficiency and ability to characterize captured cells. Here, we report the development of a novel parylene membrane filter-based portable microdevice for size-based isolation with high recovery rate and direct on-chip characterization of captured CTC from human peripheral blood.
We evaluated the sensitivity and efficiency of CTC capture in a model system using blood samples from healthy donors spiked with tumor cell lines. 59 model system samples were tested for determining the recovery rate of the microdevice. Moreover, 10 model system samples and 57 blood samples from cancer patients were subjected to both membrane microfilter device and CellSearch® platform enumeration for direct comparison.
Using the model system, the microdevice achieved >90% recovery with probability of 95% recovering at least one cell when 5 are seeded in 7.5 ml of blood. CTCs were identified in 51 out of 57 patients using the microdevice, compared to only 26 patients with the CellSearch® method. When CTC were detected by both methods, greater numbers were recovered by the microfilter device in all but 5 patients.
This filter-based microdevice is both a capture and analysis platform, capable of multiplexed imaging and genetic analysis. The microdevice presented here has the potential to enable routine CTC analysis in clinical setting for effective management of cancer patients.
Persistence of ligand-mediated androgen receptor signaling has been documented in castration-resistant prostate cancers (CRPCs). Abiraterone acetate (AA) is a potent and selective inhibitor of CYP17, which is required for androgen biosynthesis in the testes, adrenal glands, and prostate tissue. This trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of AA in combination with prednisone to reduce the symptoms of secondary hyperaldosteronism that can occur with AA monotherapy.
Patients and Methods
Fifty-eight men with progressive metastatic CRPC who experienced treatment failure with docetaxel-based chemotherapy received AA (1,000 mg daily) with prednisone (5 mg twice daily). Twenty-seven (47%) patients had received prior ketoconazole. The primary outcome was ≥ 50% prostate-specific antigen (PSA) decline, with objective response by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria, and changes in Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) and circulating tumor cell (CTC) numbers. Safety was also evaluated.
A ≥ 50% decline in PSA was confirmed in 22 (36%) patients, including 14 (45%) of 31 ketoconazole-naïve and seven (26%) of 27 ketoconazole-pretreated patients. Partial responses were seen in four (18%) of 22 patients with RECIST-evaluable target lesions. Improved ECOG PS was seen in 28% of patients. Median time to PSA progression was 169 days (95% CI, 82 to 200 days). CTC conversions with treatment from ≥ 5 to < 5 were noted in 10 (34%) of 29 patients. The majority of AA-related adverse events were grade 1 to 2, and no AA-related grade 4 events were seen.
AA plus prednisone was well tolerated, with encouraging antitumor activity in heavily pretreated CRPC patients. The incidence of mineralocorticoid-related toxicities (hypertension or hypokalemia) was reduced by adding low-dose prednisone. The combination of AA plus prednisone is recommended for phase III investigations.
Metastatic prostate cancer is treated with drugs that antagonize androgen action but most patients progress to a more aggressive form of the disease called castration-resistant prostate cancer, driven by elevated expression of the androgen receptor. Here we characterize the diarylthiohydantoins RD162 and MDV3100, two compounds optimized from a screen for non-steroidal antiandrogens that retain activity in the setting of increased androgen receptor expression. Both compounds bind to the androgen receptor with greater relative affinity than the clinically used antiandrogen bicalutamide, reduce the efficiency of its nuclear translocation and impair both DNA binding to androgen response elements and recruitment of coactivators. RD162 and MDV3100 are orally available and induce tumor regression in mouse models of castration-resistant human prostate cancer. Of the first 30 patients treated with MDV3100 in a phase I/II clinical trial, 13 of 30 (43 percent) showed sustained declines (by >50 percent) in serum levels of prostate specific antigen, a biomarker of prostate cancer. These compounds thus appear to be promising candidates for treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
MDV3100 is a rationally-designed androgen receptor antagonist that blocks androgen receptor (AR) binding, nuclear translocation, and co-activator recruitment more effectively than the androgen receptor antagonists currently in use. MDV3100 is also unique in that it prevents DNA binding, induces apoptosis, and has no agonist activity when AR is overexpressed. Because growth of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) appears to depend upon continued androgen receptor signaling, we hypothesized that MDV3100 could be effective therapy for men with CRPC. Antitumor activity and safety were assessed in a phase 1-2 trial.
Eligible patients with progressive metastatic CRPC were enrolled in cohorts of 3-6 patients. Once the safety of a dose was established, cohorts were expanded to include at least 12 chemotherapy-naïve and 12 post-chemotherapy treated patients.
140 patients were treated with doses ranging from 30 to 600 mg daily. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to assess androgen receptor blockade showed decreased 18-fluorodihydrotestosterone binding at dosages of 60 mg/day and above. Antitumor effects were observed at all dosages including declines in serum PSA of 50% or more in 56% of patients, responses in soft tissue, stabilized bone disease, and conversion from unfavourable to favourable circulating tumour cell counts. The median time to progression was 47 weeks for radiological progression. The maximal tolerated dose for sustained treatment (>28 days) was 240 mg and the most common adverse event was dose-dependent fatigue, which generally resolved following dose reduction.
Encouraging antitumor activity on all outcomes assessed was observed for MDV3100 in both chemotherapy-naïve and post-chemotherapy patients with CRPC, establishing that patients with CRPC are not uniformly hormone-refractory. A phase 3 trial in patients with progressive disease after docetaxel treatment is underway.
Studies of patients with paraneoplastic neurologic disorders (PND) have revealed that apoptotic tumor serves as a potential potent trigger for the initiation of naturally occurring tumor immunity. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, safety, and immunogenicity of an apoptotic tumor-autologous dendritic cell (DC) vaccine.
Methods and Findings
We have modeled PND tumor immunity in a clinical trial in which apoptotic allogeneic prostate tumor cells were used to generate an apoptotic tumor-autologous dendritic cell vaccine. Twenty-four prostate cancer patients were immunized in a Phase I, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the safety and immunogenicity of this vaccine. Vaccinations were safe and well tolerated. Importantly, we also found that the vaccine was immunogenic, inducing delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses and CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation, with no effect on FoxP3+ regulatory T cells. A statistically significant increase in T cell proliferation responses to prostate tumor cells in vitro (p = 0.002), decrease in prostate specific antigen (PSA) slope (p = 0.016), and a two-fold increase in PSA doubling time (p = 0.003) were identified when we compared data before and after vaccination.
An apoptotic cancer cell vaccine modeled on naturally occurring tumor immune responses in PND patients provides a safe and immunogenic tumor vaccine. (ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00289341).
Clinical data and models of human disease indicate that androgen receptor (AR) activity is essential for prostate cancer development, growth and progression. The dependence of prostatic adenocarcinoma on AR signaling at all stages of disease has thereby been exploited in the treatment of disseminated tumors, for which ablation of AR function is the goal of first line therapy. Although these strategies are initially effective, recurrent tumors arise with restored AR activity, and no durable treatment has yet been identified to combat this stage of disease. New insights into AR regulation and the mechanisms underlying resurgent AR activity have provided fertile ground for the development of novel strategies to more effectively inhibit receptor activity and prolong the transition to therapeutic failure.
Prostatic adenocarcinoma; androgen; endocrine therapy; hormone action; nuclear receptor
Growth of selected castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cell lines and animal models can be repressed by reexposure to androgens. Low doses of androgens, however, can stimulate tumor growth.
We performed a phase 1 clinical trial to determine the safety of high-dose exogenous testosterone in patients with castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer (CRMPC).
Design, setting, and participants
Patients with progressive CRMPC who had been castrate for at least 1 yr received three times the standard replacement dose of transdermal testosterone.
Cohorts of 3–6 patients received testosterone for 1 wk, 1 mo, or until disease progression.
Toxicities, androgen levels, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) assays, computed tomography (CT) scans, bone scintigraphy, positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and metastatic tumor biopsy androgen receptor levels were assessed.
Results and limitations
Twelve patients were treated—three in cohorts 1 and 2 and six in cohort 3. No pain flares were noted. One patient came off study because of epidural disease, which was treated with radiation. Average testosterone levels were within normal limits, although dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels were supraphysiologic in cohort 3. One patient achieved a PSA decline of >50% from baseline. No objective responses were seen. For cohort 3, median time on treatment was 84 d (range: 23–247 d).
We have demonstrated that patients with CRMPC can be safely treated in clinical trials using high-dose exogenous testosterone. Patients did not, on average, achieve sustained supraphysiologic serum testosterone levels. Future studies should employ strategies to maximize testosterone serum levels, use contemporary methods of identifying patients with androgen receptor overexpression, and utilize PSA Working Group II Consensus Criteria clinical trial end points.
Exogenous testosterone; Phase 1 trials; Prostate cancer
To assess the feasibility of characterizing gene copy number alteration by fluorescence in situ hybridization of circulating tumor cells (CTC) isolated using the CellSearch system in patients with progressive castration resistant metastatic prostate cancer (CRPC).
We used probe combinations that included the androgen receptor (AR) and MYC genes for FISH analysis of CTC samples collected from 77 men with metastatic CRPC.
High-level chromosomal amplification of AR was detected in 37.5% of samples analyzed, and relative gain of MYC in 55.8%. No such abnormalities were detected in samples with CTC counts of less than 10, reflecting ascertainment difficulty in these lower count samples.
The CTC isolated from our patient cohort present a very similar molecular cytogenetic profile to that reported for late-stage tumors, and thus demonstrate that analysis of CTC can be a valuable, noninvasive surrogate for routine tumor profiling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that as many as 50% of these patients have substantial amplification of the AR locus, indicating that androgen signaling continues to play an important role in late-stage prostate cancer.
circulating tumor cells; prostate cancer; tumor markers; FISH; androgen receptor