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      Abiraterone and Increased Survival in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

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          Abstract

          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.).

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          Most cited references 46

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          Circulating tumor cells predict survival benefit from treatment in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

          A method for enumerating circulating tumor cells (CTC) has received regulatory clearance. The primary objective of this prospective study was to establish the relationship between posttreatment CTC count and overall survival (OS) in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Secondary objectives included determining the prognostic utility of CTC measurement before initiating therapy, and the relationship of CTC to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) changes and OS at these and other time points. Blood was drawn from CRPC patients with progressive disease starting a new line of chemotherapy before treatment and monthly thereafter. Patients were stratified into predetermined Favorable or Unfavorable groups ( or =5 CTC/7.5mL). Two hundred thirty-one of 276 enrolled patients (84%) were evaluable. Patients with Unfavorable pretreatment CTC (57%) had shorter OS (median OS, 11.5 versus 21.7 months; Cox hazard ratio, 3.3; P 26 to 9.3 months). CTC are the most accurate and independent predictor of OS in CRPC. These data led to Food and Drug Administration clearance of this assay for the evaluation of CRPC.
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            Molecular determinants of resistance to antiandrogen therapy.

            Using microarray-based profiling of isogenic prostate cancer xenograft models, we found that a modest increase in androgen receptor mRNA was the only change consistently associated with the development of resistance to antiandrogen therapy. This increase in androgen receptor mRNA and protein was both necessary and sufficient to convert prostate cancer growth from a hormone-sensitive to a hormone-refractory stage, and was dependent on a functional ligand-binding domain. Androgen receptor antagonists showed agonistic activity in cells with increased androgen receptor levels; this antagonist-agonist conversion was associated with alterations in the recruitment of coactivators and corepressors to the promoters of androgen receptor target genes. Increased levels of androgen receptor confer resistance to antiandrogens by amplifying signal output from low levels of residual ligand, and by altering the normal response to antagonists. These findings provide insight toward the design of new antiandrogens.
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              Toxicity and response criteria of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                May 26 2011
                May 26 2011
                : 364
                : 21
                : 1995-2005
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa1014618
                3471149
                21612468
                © 2011
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