It has been postulated that castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) commonly remains hormone dependent. Abiraterone acetate is a potent, selective, and orally available inhibitor of CYP17, the key enzyme in androgen and estrogen biosynthesis.
Patients and Methods
This was a phase I/II study of abiraterone acetate in castrate, chemotherapy-naive CRPC patients (n = 54) with phase II expansion at 1,000 mg (n = 42) using a two-stage design to reject the null hypothesis if more than seven patients had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) decline of ≥ 50% (null hypothesis = 0.1; alternative hypothesis = 0.3; α = .05; β = .14). Computed tomography scans every 12 weeks and circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration were performed. Prospective reversal of resistance at progression by adding dexamethasone 0.5 mg/d to suppress adrenocorticotropic hormone and upstream steroids was pursued.
A decline in PSA of ≥ 50% was observed in 28 (67%) of 42 phase II patients, and declines of ≥ 90% were observed in eight (19%) of 42 patients. Independent radiologic evaluation reported partial responses (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) in nine (37.5%) of 24 phase II patients with measurable disease. Decreases in CTC counts were also documented. The median time to PSA progression (TTPP) on abiraterone acetate alone for all phase II patients was 225 days (95% CI, 162 to 287 days). Exploratory analyses were performed on all 54 phase I/II patients; the addition of dexamethasone at disease progression reversed resistance in 33% of patients regardless of prior treatment with dexamethasone, and pretreatment serum androgen and estradiol levels were associated with a probability of ≥ 50% PSA decline and TTPP on abiraterone acetate and dexamethasone.
CYP17 blockade by abiraterone acetate results in declines in PSA and CTC counts and radiologic responses, confirming that CRPC commonly remains hormone driven.
Recent data reports abiraterone acetate, a specific inhibitor of CYP17 that is key to androgen and estrogen synthesis, improves survival in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), confirming the continued dependency of CRPC on the androgen receptor (AR) signaling pathway. MDV3100 is a novel antagonist of AR that is also in Phase III clinical trials. In addition, several other agents targeting the AR axis are undergoing evaluation in early clinical studies. CRPC patients progress on these therapies with a rising PSA, suggesting that repeated therapeutic interventions targeting the AR signaling axis could induce secondary responses and achieve prolonged clinical benefit for a sub-group of patients. These exciting results are good news for patients but introduce a number of treatment paradigm dilemmas for physicians. Clinical studies evaluating the ideal sequence of administration of these new agents, best timing for initiation, combination strategies, discontinuation beyond progression and after commencement of subsequent therapies and coordination with other treatments have not been performed. Predictive biomarkers could allow patient selection for a specific treatment but in their absence most physicians will rely on a trial of treatment with a preferred agent and substitute for an alternative therapy on objective progression. Current data suggests that the response rate to drugs targeting the AR ligand-binding domain decreases with each treatment but we hypothesize that a significant proportion of CRPC remains dependent on the AR axis and therefore novel strategies for disrupting AR signaling merit evaluation.
The clinical development of cabazitaxel and abiraterone acetate in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer is examined.
Prostate cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer in men in most western countries. Advanced prostate cancer is typically sensitive to androgen-deprivation therapy, but invariably progresses to the castration-resistant state. Most current prostate cancer treatments are based on cytotoxicity directed against tumor cells via androgen-deprivation therapy or chemotherapy. Chemotherapy with docetaxel represents the standard first-line treatment in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Following progression after treatment with docetaxel, cabazitaxel (XRP6258)–prednisone treatment leads to a significantly longer overall survival (OS) time than with mitoxantrone–prednisone. Several other novel agents are currently being evaluated, including sipuleucel-T, abiraterone acetate, and MDV3100, as well as the radionuclide alpharadin. The cell-based immunotherapy sipuleucel-T produces longer OS times in chemotherapy-naïve patients, whereas the androgen biosynthesis inhibitor abiraterone acetate results in longer OS times following docetaxel. It is envisioned that these agents will change the standard of care for patients with metastatic CRPC. This review focuses on the clinical development of cabazitaxel and abiraterone acetate.
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC); Abiraterone; Androgen receptor; Taxane; Cabazitaxel
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.)
The epidemiological data linking a hyperandrogen state to a higher risk for ovarian cancer are reviewed, in vitro studies of the role of androgens in influencing the growth of epithelial ovarian cancer are described, and completed clinical trials with compounds that exploit the androgen axis in patients with ovarian cancer are reviewed.
After completing this course, the reader will be able to:
Explain the role of the androgen axis in the development of ovarian cancer.Discuss the potential compounds with anti-androgen activity that can be assessed for the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
Androgen receptors are frequently expressed in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Their role in the development of EOC is not fully understood. In the present review we first discuss the epidemiological data linking a hyperandrogen state to a higher risk for ovarian cancer, second describe in vitro studies of the role of androgens in influencing the growth of EOC, and finally review the completed clinical trials with compounds that exploit the androgen axis in patients with ovarian cancer. The therapeutic approaches that inhibit androgen signaling have so far produced only modest response rates. In the light of new data regarding the role of androgen stimulation in the evolution of EOC and the emergence of new compounds used for the treatment of other hormone-driven malignancies, such as prostate and breast cancer, we provide suggestions for new studies of antiandrogen therapeutics in the treatment of EOC. A specific example is the new agent abiraterone. In addition, we propose a panel of molecules that could be assessed as potential biomarkers that may aid patient selection for this approach in the future.
Androgen receptor; Ovarian cancer; Endocrine treatment; Abiraterone; Consolidation treatment
Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a molecularly heterogeneous disease that is intrinsically resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. While VEGF and mTOR targeted therapies have shown clinical activity, their effects are variable and short-lived, underscoring the need for improved treatment strategies for RCC. Here, we used quantitative phosphoproteomics and immunohistochemical profiling of 346 RCC specimens to determine that Src kinase signaling is elevated in RCC cells that retain wild type (WT) von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein expression. Correspondingly, VHL-WT RCC cell lines and xenografts were sensitized to the Src inhibitor dasatinib compared to VHL null cells. Forced expression of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) in VHL-WT RCC cells diminished Src signaling output by repressing transcription of the Src activator protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) and conferred resistance to dasatinib. Our results suggest that a HIF-regulated VHL-PTP1B-Src signaling axis determines sensitivity of RCC to Src inhibitors and that stratification of RCC patients using antibody-based biomarker profiling may identify patients likely to respond to Src inhibitors in RCC clinical trials.
Prostate cancer remains the most common malignancy among men and the second leading cause of male cancer-related mortality. Death from this disease is invariably due to resistance to androgen deprivation therapy. Our improved understanding of the biology of prostate cancer has heralded a new era in molecular anticancer drug development, with multiple novel anticancer drugs for castration resistant prostate cancer now entering the clinic. These include the taxane cabazitaxel, the vaccine sipuleucel-T, the CYP17 inhibitor abiraterone, the novel androgen receptor antagonist MDV-3100 and the radionuclide alpharadin. The management and therapeutic landscape of prostate cancer has now been transformed with this growing armamentarium of effective antitumor agents. This review discusses strategies for the prevention and personalization of prostate cancer therapy, with a focus on the development of predictive and intermediate endpoint biomarkers, as well as novel clinical trial designs that will be crucial for the optimal development of such anticancer therapeutics.
Prostate cancer; Intermediate endpoint biomarkers; Novel clinical trial designs; Predictive diagnostics; Targeted prevention; Personalized treatment
Circulating tumour cells (CTC) in patients with metastatic carcinomas are associated with poor survival and can be used to guide therapy. Classification of CTC however remains subjective, as they are morphologically heterogeneous. We acquired digital images, using the CellSearch™ system, from blood of 185 castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients and 68 healthy subjects to define CTC by computer algorithms. Patient survival data was used as the training parameter for the computer to define CTC. The computer-generated CTC definition was validated on a separate CRPC dataset comprising 100 patients. The optimal definition of the computer defined CTC (aCTC) was stricter as compared to the manual CellSearch CTC (mCTC) definition and as a consequence aCTC were less frequent. The computer-generated CTC definition resulted in hazard ratios (HRs) of 2.8 for baseline and 3.9 for follow-up samples, which is comparable to the mCTC definition (baseline HR 2.9, follow-up HR 4.5). Validation resulted in HRs at baseline/follow-up of 3.9/5.4 for computer and 4.8/5.8 for manual definitions. In conclusion, we have defined and validated CTC by clinical outcome using a perfectly reproducing automated algorithm.
The c-MET (mesenchymal–epithelial transition factor) receptor tyrosine kinase is an exciting novel drug target in view of its key role in oncogenesis, as well as its association with disease prognosis in a number of malignancies. Several drugs targeting c-MET are currently showing promise in clinical trials and will hopefully validate positive observations from preclinical studies. The potential efficacy of these different therapeutic agents is expected to be influenced by the mechanism of aberrant hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-MET signaling pathway activation in a particular cancer, but presents a promising strategy for cancer treatment either as a single agent or as part of a combination therapeutic approach. However, there is an ongoing need to improve and accelerate the transition of preclinical research into improved therapeutic strategies for patients with cancer. The main challenges facing the development of HGF/c-MET-targeted agents for cancer treatment include the discovery of rationally designed anticancer drugs and combination strategies, as well as the validation of predictive biomarkers. This paper discusses these issues, with a particular focus on future directions in the evaluation of c-MET-driven malignancies.
c-MET; drug development; targeted therapy; treatment resistance; patient selection; biomarkers
Introduction. A survey was sent to referring oncologists (ROs) to explore the reasons behind their referral patterns and perceptions of Phase I studies before and after being provided with outcome data from advanced colorectal cancer (ACRC) patients who participated in Phase I trials at the Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH). Results. The response rate was 32/50 (64%). The most common reason for referral was exhaustion of standard treatments (31%), and the main reason for referring to the RMH was proximity to patients (28%). The most frequent clinical parameter assessed prior to referral was performance status (93%). ROs spent a median of 15 min (range: 5–45 min) discussing general aspects of Phase I trials. In the second part of the questionnaire, after reviewing clinical outcome data of ACRC patients who participated in Phase I trials, 47% would change their approach, specifically, spend more time to discuss risks and benefits of Phase I trials (9%), consider prognostic factors before referral (13%), and increase the number of referrals (25%). Conclusion. This is the first report focusing on communication between ROs and a specialist Phase I unit. Outcome reporting can improve communication with ROs and importantly has the potential for better patient selection considered for Phase I oncology trials.
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.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether it is possible to achieve truly systemic delivery of oncolytic reovirus, in immunocompetent hosts, using cyclophosphamide to overcome some of the barriers to effective intratumoral delivery and replication of i.v. injected virus.
I.v. delivery of reovirus was combined with different regimens of i.p. administered cyclophosphamide in C57Bl/6 mice bearing established s.c. B16 tumors. Intratumoral viral replication, tumor size, and survival were measured along with levels of neutralizing antibody (NAb) in the blood. Finally, differential toxicities of the virus/cyclophosphamide regimens were monitored through viral replication in systemic organs, survival, and cardiac damage.
Repeated i.v. injection of reovirus was poorly effective at seeding intratumoral viral replication/oncolysis. However, by combining i.v. virus with cyclophosphamide, viral titers of between 107 and 108 plaque-forming units per milligram were recovered from regressing tumors. Doses of cyclophosphamide that ablated NAb were associated with severe toxicities, characterized by viral replication in systemic organs—toxicities that are mirrored by repeated reovirus injections into B-cell knockout mice. Next, we restructured the dosing of cyclophosphamide and i.v. virus such that a dose of 3 mg cyclophosphamide was administered 24 h before reovirus injection, and this schedule was repeated every 6 days. Using this protocol, high levels of intratumoral viral access and replication (~107 plaque-forming units per milligram tumor) were maintained along with systemically protective levels of NAb and only very mild, non – life-threatening toxicity.
NAb to oncolytic viruses play a dual role in the context of systemic viral delivery; on one hand, they hinder repeated administration of virus but on the other, they provide an important safety mechanism by which virus released from vigorous intratumoral replication is neutralized before it can disseminate and cause toxicity. These data support the use of cyclophosphamide to modulate, but not ablate, patient NAb, in development of carefully controlled clinical trials of the systemic administration of oncolytic viruses.
Figitumumab is a fully human IgG2 monoclonal antibody targeting the insulin-like growth-factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R). Preclinical data suggest a dependence on insulin-like growth-factor signalling for sarcoma subtypes, including Ewing’s sarcoma, and early reports show antitumour activity of IGF-1R-targeting drugs in these diseases.
Between January, 2006, and August, 2008, patients with refractory, advanced sarcomas received figitumumab (20 mg/kg) in two single-stage expansion cohorts within a solid-tumour phase 1 trial. The first cohort (n=15) included patients with multiple sarcoma subtypes, age 18 years or older, and the second cohort (n=14) consisted of patients with refractory Ewing’s sarcoma, age 9 years or older. The primary endpoint was to assess the safety and tolerability of figitumumab. Secondary endpoints included pharmacokinetic profiling and preliminary antitumour activity (best response by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours [RECIST]) in evaluable patients who received at least one dose of medication. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00474760.
29 patients, 16 of whom had Ewing’s sarcoma, were enrolled and received a total of 177 cycles of treatment (median 2, mean 6·1, range 1–24). Grade 3 deep venous thrombosis, grade 3 back pain, and grade 3 vomiting were each noted once in individual patients; one patient had grade 3 increases in aspartate aminotransferase and gammaglutamyltransferase concentrations. This patient also had grade 4 increases in alanine aminotransferase concentrations. The only other grade 4 adverse event was raised concentrations of uric acid, noted in one patient. Pharmacokinetics were comparable between patients with sarcoma and those with other solid tumours. 28 patients were assessed for response; two patients, both with Ewing’s sarcoma, had objective responses (one complete response and one partial response) and eight patients had disease stabilisation (six with Ewing’s sarcoma, one with synovial sarcoma, and one with fibrosarcoma) lasting 4 months or longer.
Figitumumab is well tolerated and has antitumour activity in Ewing’s sarcoma, warranting further investigation in this disease.
Pfizer Global Research and Development.
To assess the use of circulating tumor cell (CTC) number as a continuous variable as a prognostic factor for survival, and for the clinical management of patients with progressive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer receiving first-line chemotherapy.
The study included 164 men with progressive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. CTCs were isolated by immunomagnetic capture from blood samples drawn at baseline and after the initiation of first-line chemotherapy. Baseline variables including CTC number, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and posttreatment variables (fold change in CTCs and PSA) were tested for association with survival using the Cox proportional hazards models. The concordance probability estimate was used to gauge the discriminatory strength of the informative factors in separating low- and high-risk patients.
At baseline, variables associated with increased risk of death were a high LDH (hazard ratio [HR] 6.44), CTC number (HR 1.58), and PSA (HR 1.26), low albumin (HR 0.10), and low hemoglobin (HR 0.72) (all p<0.001). At 4, 8, and 12 weeks posttreatment, changes in CTC number were strongly associated with risk (all p≤0.001), while changes in PSA were modestly associated (p=0.04 to 0.8). The combination of factors most predictive of survival were LDH and CTC number (concordance probability estimate 0.72–0.75). Time to CTC progression was modestly associated with time to death.
CTC number, analyzed as a continuous variable, was more predictive of survival than PSA at baseline and during patient follow-up, and can be used to monitor disease status. A model including baseline and posttreatment CTC, independent of discrete cutoff values, and baseline LDH was most predictive. The prospective evaluation of CTC number as an intermediate endpoint of survival in randomized prospective clinical trials is warranted.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation.
circulating tumor cells; prostate cancer; PSA; LDH; prognosis
Although mortality from breast cancer is decreasing, 15% or more of all patients ultimately develop incurable metastatic disease. It is hoped that new classes of target-based cytotoxic therapeutics will significantly improve the outcome for these patients. Many of these novel agents have displayed cytotoxic activity in preclinical and clinical evaluations, with little toxicity. Such preferential cytotoxicity against malignant tissues will remain tantamount to the Holy Grail in oncologic therapeutics because this portends improved patient tolerance and overall quality of life, and the capacity to deliver combination therapy. Combinations of such rationally designed target-based therapies are likely to be increasingly important in treating patients with breast carcinoma. The anticancer efficacy of these agents will, however, remain dependent on the involvement of the targets of these agents in the biology of the individual patient's disease. Results of DNA microarray analyses have raised high hopes that the analyses of RNA expression levels can successfully predict patient prognosis, and indicate that the ability to rapidly 'fingerprint' the oncogenic profile of a patient's tumor is now possible. It is hoped that these studies will support the identification of the molecules driving a tumor's growth, and the selection of the appropriate combination of targeted agents in the near future.
breast cancer; preferential cytotoxicity; target-based
Presence of circulating tumor cells (CTC) in patients with metastatic breast, colorectal and prostate cancer is indicative for poor prognosis. An automated CTC (aCTC) algorithm developed previously to eliminate the variability in manual counting of CTC (mCTC) was used to extract morphological features. Here we validated the aCTC algorithm on CTC images from prostate, breast and colorectal cancer patients and investigated the role of quantitative morphological parameters.
Stored images of samples from patients with prostate, breast and colorectal cancer, healthy controls, benign breast and colorectal tumors were obtained using the CellSearch system. Images were analyzed for the presence of aCTC and their morphological parameters measured and correlated with survival.
Overall survival hazard ratio was not significantly different for aCTC and mCTC. The number of CTC correlated strongest with survival, whereas CTC size, roundness and apoptosis features reached significance in univariate analysis, but not in multivariate analysis. One aCTC/7.5 ml of blood was found in 7 of 204 healthy controls and 9 of 694 benign tumors. In one patient with benign tumor 2 and another 9 aCTC were detected.
Significance of the study
CTC can be identified and morphological features extracted by an algorithm on images stored by the CellSearch system and strongly correlate with clinical outcome in metastatic breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.
Tumor genomic instability and selective treatment pressures result in clonal disease evolution; molecular stratification for molecularly targeted drug administration requires repeated access to tumor DNA. We hypothesized that circulating plasma DNA (cpDNA) in advanced cancer patients is largely derived from tumor, has prognostic utility, and can be utilized for multiplex tumor mutation sequencing when repeat biopsy is not feasible. We utilized the Sequenom MassArray System and OncoCarta panel for somatic mutation profiling. Matched samples, acquired from the same patient but at different time points were evaluated; these comprised formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) archival tumor tissue (primary and/or metastatic) and cpDNA. The feasibility, sensitivity, and specificity of this high-throughput, multiplex mutation detection approach was tested utilizing specimens acquired from 105 patients with solid tumors referred for participation in Phase I trials of molecularly targeted drugs. The median cpDNA concentration was 17 ng/ml (range: 0.5–1600); this was 3-fold higher than in healthy volunteers. Moreover, higher cpDNA concentrations associated with worse overall survival; there was an overall survival (OS) hazard ratio of 2.4 (95% CI 1.4, 4.2) for each 10-fold increase in cpDNA concentration and in multivariate analyses, cpDNA concentration, albumin, and performance status remained independent predictors of OS. These data suggest that plasma DNA in these cancer patients is largely derived from tumor. We also observed high detection concordance for critical ‘hot-spot’ mutations (KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA) in matched cpDNA and archival tumor tissue, and important differences between archival tumor and cpDNA. This multiplex sequencing assay can be utilized to detect somatic mutations from plasma in advanced cancer patients, when safe repeat tumor biopsy is not feasible and genomic analysis of archival tumor is deemed insufficient. Overall, circulating nucleic acid biomarker studies have clinically important multi-purpose utility in advanced cancer patients and further studies to pursue their incorporation into the standard of care are warranted.
Systemic Therapy for Advanced or Metastatic Prostate cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy (STAMPEDE) is a randomized controlled trial that follows a novel multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS) design. We describe methodological and practical issues arising with (1) stopping recruitment to research arms following a pre-planned intermediate analysis and (2) adding a new research arm during the trial.
STAMPEDE recruits men who have locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer who are starting standard long-term hormone therapy. Originally there were five research and one control arms, each undergoing a pilot stage (focus: safety, feasibility), three intermediate ‘activity’ stages (focus: failure-free survival), and a final ‘efficacy’ stage (focus: overall survival). Lack-of-sufficient-activity guidelines support the pairwise interim comparisons of each research arm against the control arm; these pre-defined activity cut-off becomes increasingly stringent over the stages. Accrual of further patients continues to the control arm and to those research arms showing activity and an acceptable safety profile. The design facilitates adding new research arms should sufficiently interesting agents emerge. These new arms are compared only to contemporaneously recruited control arm patients using the same intermediate guidelines in a time-delayed manner. The addition of new research arms is subject to adequate recruitment rates to support the overall trial aims.
(1) Stopping Existing Therapy: After the second intermediate activity analysis, recruitment was discontinued to two research arms for lack-of-sufficient activity. Detailed preparations meant that changes were implemented swiftly at 100 international centers and recruitment continued seamlessly into Activity Stage III with 3 remaining research arms and the control arm. Further regulatory and ethical approvals were not required because this was already included in the initial trial design.
(2) Adding New Therapy: An application to add a new research arm was approved by the funder, (who also organized peer review), industrial partner and regulatory and ethical bodies. This was all done in advance of any decision to stop current therapies.
The STAMPEDE experience shows that recruitment to a MAMS trial and mid-flow changes its design are achievable with good planning. This benefits patients and the scientific community as research treatments are evaluated in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
First patient into trial: 17 October 2005
First patient into abiraterone comparison: 15 November 2011
Novel design; Multi-arm multi-stage design; Implementation; Prostate cancer; Methodology; Randomized controlled trial
The principal objective of this trial was to evaluate the antitumor activity of abiraterone acetate, an oral, specific, irreversible inhibitor of CYP17 in docetaxel-treated patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Patients and Methods
In this multicenter, two-stage, phase II study, abiraterone acetate 1,000 mg was administered once daily continuously. The primary end point was achievement of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) decline of ≥ 50% in at least seven of 35 patients. Per an attained phase II design, more than 35 patients could be enrolled if the primary end point was met. Secondary objectives included: PSA declines of ≥ 30% and ≥ 90%; rate of RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) responses and duration on study; time to PSA progression; safety and tolerability; and circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration.
Docetaxel-treated patients with CRPC (N = 47) were enrolled. PSA declines of ≥ 30%, ≥ 50% and ≥ 90% were seen in 68% (32 of 47), 51% (24 of 47), and 15% (seven of 47) of patients, respectively. Partial responses (by RECIST) were reported in eight (27%) of 30 patients with measurable disease. Median time to PSA progression was 169 days (95% CI, 113 to 281 days). The median number of weeks on study was 24, and 12 (25.5%) of 47 patients remained on study ≥ 48 weeks. CTCs were enumerated in 34 patients; 27 (79%) of 34 patients had at least five CTCs at baseline. Eleven (41%) of 27 patients had a decline from at least five to less than 5 CTCs, and 18 (67%) of 27 had a ≥ 30% decline in CTCs after starting treatment with abiraterone acetate. Abiraterone acetate was well tolerated.
Abiraterone acetate has significant antitumor activity in post-docetaxel patients with CRPC. Randomized, phase III trials of abiraterone acetate are underway to define the future role of this agent.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling through upregulation of the stimulatory ligand IGF-II has been implicated in the pathogenesis of adrenocortical carcinoma. As there is a paucity of effective therapies, this dose expansion cohort of a phase 1 study was undertaken to determine the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and effects on endocrine markers of figitumumab in patients with adrenocortical carcinoma.
Figitumumab was administered on day 1 of each 21-day cycle at the maximal feasible dose (20 mg/kg) to a cohort of patients with metastatic, refractory adrenocortical carcinoma. Serum glucose, insulin, and growth hormone were measured pre-study, at cycle 4 and study end. Pharmacokinetic evaluation was performed during cycles 1 and 4.
Fourteen patients with adrenocortical carcinoma received 50 cycles of figitumumab at the 20 mg/kg. Treatment- related toxicities were generally mild and included hyperglycemia, nausea, fatigue, and anorexia. Single episodes of grade 4 hyperuricemia, proteinuria, and elevated gamma-glutamyltransferase were observed. Pharmacokinetics of figitumumab was comparable to patients with solid tumors other than adrenocortical carcinoma. Treatment with figitumumab increased serum insulin and growth hormone levels. Eight of 14 patients (57%) had stable disease.
The side effect profile and pharmacokinetics of figitumumab were similar in patients with adrenocortical carcinoma in comparison to patients with other solid tumors. While hyperglycemia was the most common adverse event, no clear patterns predicting severity were observed. The majority of patients receiving protocol therapy with single agent figitumumab experienced stability of disease, warranting further evaluation.
IGF-1R; Adrenocortical carcinoma; Monoclonal antibody; CP-751,871; Figitumumab