Publications by authors named "Bernhard J Eigl"

50 Publications

Development of secondary urothelial carcinoma following complete response to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Urol Case Rep 2021 Nov 25;39:101762. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Medical Oncology, BC Cancer - Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada.

The management of metastatic urothelial cancer is rapidly evolving since immune checkpoint inhibitors were introduced. We present the case of a patient with metastatic upper tract urothelial cancer who had a complete response to durvalumab and tremelimumab. This patient then developed multiple non-invasive papillary bladder tumours. Next-generation sequencing revealed that the tumours shared ancestry with the upper tract cancer, although there were key differences, most notably the presence of a missense mutation in the upper tract disease that was absent in the bladder tumours. This illustrates an important practice point in the management of exceptional responders to checkpoint inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eucr.2021.101762DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254020PMC
November 2021

Evolution of Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer in ctDNA during Sequential Androgen Receptor Pathway Inhibition.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Aug 3;27(16):4610-4623. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada.

Purpose: Cross-resistance renders multiple lines of androgen receptor (AR) signaling inhibitors increasingly futile in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). We sought to determine acquired genomic contributors to cross-resistance.

Experimental Design: We collected 458 serial plasma cell-free DNA samples at baseline and progression timepoints from 202 patients with mCRPC receiving sequential AR signaling inhibitors (abiraterone and enzalutamide) in a randomized phase II clinical trial (NCT02125357). We utilized deep targeted and whole-exome sequencing to compare baseline and posttreatment somatic genomic profiles in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

Results: Patient ctDNA abundance was correlated across plasma collections and independently prognostic for sequential therapy response and overall survival. Most driver alterations in established prostate cancer genes were consistently detected in ctDNA over time. However, shifts in somatic populations after treatment were identified in 53% of patients, particularly after strong treatment responses. Treatment-associated changes converged upon the gene, with an average 50% increase in copy number, changes in mutation frequencies, and a 2.5-fold increase in the proportion of patients carrying AR ligand binding domain truncating rearrangements.

Conclusions: Our data show that the dominant genotype continues to evolve during sequential lines of AR inhibition and drives acquired resistance in patients with mCRPC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-1625DOI Listing
August 2021

Urinary Large Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma: A Clinicopathologic Analysis of 22 Cases.

Am J Surg Pathol 2021 Oct;45(10):1399-1408

Department of Urology, Vancouver General Hospital.

Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) of the urinary tract is a rare disease. We present a relatively large retrospective cohort of urinary LCNEC, 20 from the urinary bladder, and 2 from the ureter, from a single institution. The patients included 16 men and 6 women with a median age of 74.5 years. Most LCNEC presented at an advanced stage with tumors invading the muscularis propria and beyond (21/22). Eight cases were pure LCNEC, while 14 cases were mixed with other histologic types, including conventional urothelial carcinoma (n=9), carcinoma in situ (n=7), small cell carcinoma (n=6), and urothelial carcinoma with glandular (n=3) features. Most LCNEC expressed neuroendocrine markers synaptophysin (22/22), chromogranin (13/16), CD56 (7/7), TTF1 (8/8), and INSM1 (2/3). They were negative for common urothelial markers including HMWCK (0/3), p40/p63 (0/6), CK20 (0/10), and had variable GATA3 staining (4/8). Ki-67 stained 25% to nearly 100% tumor cell nuclei. Patient survival was associated with cancer stage, and pure LCNEC showed worse survival than mixed LCNEC. Compared with small cell carcinoma at similar stages from a prior study, LCNEC had a worse prognosis only when patients developed metastatic disease. For organ-confined LCNEC, neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical resection is the treatment option to achieve long-term survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000001740DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8428850PMC
October 2021

The Rapidly Evolving Landscape of First-Line Targeted Therapy in Metastatic Urothelial Cancer: A Systematic Review.

Oncologist 2021 Aug 11;26(8):e1381-e1394. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Medical Oncology, BC Cancer - Vancouver, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Background: Metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) historically is treated with first-line platinum-based combination chemotherapy, preferably cisplatin plus gemcitabine whenever possible. In recent years, multiple classes of targeted therapy have demonstrated benefit, with some receiving approval in mUC. This review will summarize phase III efficacy and safety data for targeted agents, principally immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), as either first-line or first-line switch-maintenance therapy for mUC and interpret these findings in the context of the current treatment landscape.

Materials And Methods: Published and presented phase III data on targeted therapy for the first-line or first-line switch-maintenance treatment of mUC were identified using the key search terms "targeted therapy" AND "urothelial carcinoma" AND "advanced" OR respective aliases according to the guidelines for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).

Results: Of the six eligible phase III targeted therapy trials, two assessing ICIs met their primary endpoints in platinum-eligible patients. First-line ICI plus chemotherapy combinations have not improved overall survival (OS), although final OS results of the IMVigor 130 trial are pending. Switch-maintenance using an ICI in patients achieving at least stable disease following platinum-based chemotherapy statistically significantly improved OS (21.4 vs. 14.3 months, hazard ratio, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.56-0.86; p = .001). Current sequencing options for mUC include first-line platinum-based chemotherapy with a switch to ICI either immediately or upon disease progression.

Conclusion: Recent targeted therapy trials have expanded ICI sequencing options for mUC. The treatment landscape is likely to evolve rapidly, with results from multiple phase III trials expected in the next 5 years.

Implications For Practice: Multiple classes of targeted agents are approved for use in metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC). Six phase III trials have recently provided insight on the benefit of these agents in the first-line setting. In platinum-eligible patients, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) combined with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy failed to demonstrate improved survival, although ICI monotherapy as switch-maintenance significantly improved overall survival in patients with mUC who had achieved at least stable disease following first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. In patients ineligible for any chemotherapy, pembrolizumab, atezolizumab, or pembrolizumab in combination with enfortumab vedotin may be options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8342568PMC
August 2021

Plasma ctDNA is a tumor tissue surrogate and enables clinical-genomic stratification of metastatic bladder cancer.

Nat Commun 2021 01 8;12(1):184. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Urologic Sciences, Vancouver Prostate Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Molecular stratification can improve the management of advanced cancers, but requires relevant tumor samples. Metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) is poised to benefit given a recent expansion of treatment options and its high genomic heterogeneity. We profile minimally-invasive plasma circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) samples from 104 mUC patients, and compare to same-patient tumor tissue obtained during invasive surgery. Patient ctDNA abundance is independently prognostic for overall survival in patients initiating first-line systemic therapy. Importantly, ctDNA analysis reproduces the somatic driver genome as described from tissue-based cohorts. Furthermore, mutation concordance between ctDNA and matched tumor tissue is 83.4%, enabling benchmarking of proposed clinical biomarkers. While 90% of mutations are identified across serial ctDNA samples, concordance for serial tumor tissue is significantly lower. Overall, our exploratory analysis demonstrates that genomic profiling of ctDNA in mUC is reliable and practical, and mitigates against disease undersampling inherent to studying archival primary tumor foci. We urge the incorporation of cell-free DNA profiling into molecularly-guided clinical trials for mUC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20493-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794518PMC
January 2021

Editorial Comment.

J Urol 2021 03 5;205(3):717. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Division of Medical Oncology, BC Cancer, Vancouver Center, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001412.01DOI Listing
March 2021

Integrated Expression of Circulating miR375 and miR371 to Identify Teratoma and Active Germ Cell Malignancy Components in Malignant Germ Cell Tumors.

Eur Urol 2021 01 4;79(1):16-19. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Medicine, Medical Oncology Division, BC Cancer, Vancouver Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Electronic address:

Active germ cell malignancies express high levels of specific circulating micro-RNAs (miRNAs), including miR-371a-3p (miR371), which is undetectable in teratoma. Teratoma markers are urgently needed for theselection of patients and treatments because of the risk of malignant transformation and growing teratoma syndrome. To assess the accuracy of plasma miR375 alone or in combination with miR371 in detecting teratoma, 100 germ cell tumor patients, divided into two cohorts, were enrolled in a prospective multi-institutional study. In the discovery cohort, patients with pure teratoma and with no/low risk of harboring teratoma were compared; the validation cohort included patients with confirmed teratoma, active germ cell malignancy, or complete response after chemotherapy. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve values for miR375, miR371, and miR371-miR375 were, respectively, 0.93 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.87-0.99), 0.59 (95% CI: 0.44-0.73), and 0.95 (95% CI: 0.90-0.99) in the discovery cohort and 0.55 (95% CI: 0.36-0.74), 0.74 (95% CI: 0.58-0.91), and 0.77 (95% CI: 0.62-0.93) in the validation cohort. Our study demonstrated that the plasma miR371-miR375 integrated evaluation is highly accurate to detect teratoma. PATIENT SUMMARY: The evaluation of two micro-RNAs (miR375-miR371) in the blood of patients with germ cell tumors is promising to predict teratoma. This test could be particularly relevant to the identification of teratoma in patients with postchemotherapy residual disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.10.024DOI Listing
January 2021

Durvalumab alone and durvalumab plus tremelimumab versus chemotherapy in previously untreated patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (DANUBE): a randomised, open-label, multicentre, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 12 21;21(12):1574-1588. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and PSMAR-IMIM Research Lab, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Survival outcomes are poor for patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma who receive standard, first-line, platinum-based chemotherapy. We assessed the overall survival of patients who received durvalumab (a PD-L1 inhibitor), with or without tremelimumab (a CTLA-4 inhibitor), as a first-line treatment for metastatic urothelial carcinoma.

Methods: DANUBE is an open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial in patients with untreated, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, conducted at 224 academic research centres, hospitals, and oncology clinics in 23 countries. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. We randomly assigned patients (1:1:1) to receive durvalumab monotherapy (1500 mg) administered intravenously every 4 weeks; durvalumab (1500 mg) plus tremelimumab (75 mg) administered intravenously every 4 weeks for up to four doses, followed by durvalumab maintenance (1500 mg) every 4 weeks; or standard-of-care chemotherapy (gemcitabine plus cisplatin or gemcitabine plus carboplatin, depending on cisplatin eligibility) administered intravenously for up to six cycles. Randomisation was done through an interactive voice-web response system, with stratification by cisplatin eligibility, PD-L1 status, and presence or absence of liver metastases, lung metastases, or both. The coprimary endpoints were overall survival compared between the durvalumab monotherapy versus chemotherapy groups in the population of patients with high PD-L1 expression (the high PD-L1 population) and between the durvalumab plus tremelimumab versus chemotherapy groups in the intention-to-treat population (all randomly assigned patients). The study has completed enrolment and the final analysis of overall survival is reported. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02516241, and the EU Clinical Trials Register, EudraCT number 2015-001633-24.

Findings: Between Nov 24, 2015, and March 21, 2017, we randomly assigned 1032 patients to receive durvalumab (n=346), durvalumab plus tremelimumab (n=342), or chemotherapy (n=344). At data cutoff (Jan 27, 2020), median follow-up for survival was 41·2 months (IQR 37·9-43·2) for all patients. In the high PD-L1 population, median overall survival was 14·4 months (95% CI 10·4-17·3) in the durvalumab monotherapy group (n=209) versus 12·1 months (10·4-15·0) in the chemotherapy group (n=207; hazard ratio 0·89, 95% CI 0·71-1·11; p=0·30). In the intention-to-treat population, median overall survival was 15·1 months (13·1-18·0) in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group versus 12·1 months (10·9-14·0) in the chemotherapy group (0·85, 95% CI 0·72-1·02; p=0·075). In the safety population, grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 47 (14%) of 345 patients in the durvalumab group, 93 (27%) of 340 patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group, and in 188 (60%) of 313 patients in the chemotherapy group. The most common grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse event was increased lipase in the durvalumab group (seven [2%] of 345 patients) and in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group (16 [5%] of 340 patients), and neutropenia in the chemotherapy group (66 [21%] of 313 patients). Serious treatment-related adverse events occurred in 30 (9%) of 345 patients in the durvalumab group, 78 (23%) of 340 patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group, and 50 (16%) of 313 patients in the chemotherapy group. Deaths due to study drug toxicity were reported in two (1%) patients in the durvalumab group (acute hepatic failure and hepatitis), two (1%) patients in the durvalumab plus tremelimumab group (septic shock and pneumonitis), and one (<1%) patient in the chemotherapy group (acute kidney injury).

Interpretation: This study did not meet either of its coprimary endpoints. Further research to identify the patients with previously untreated metastatic urothelial carcinoma who benefit from treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors, either alone or in combination regimens, is warranted.

Funding: AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30541-6DOI Listing
December 2020

Clinical characteristics and outcomes for young patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma.

Can Urol Assoc J 2021 Feb;15(2):E123-E126

Division of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.6405DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7864708PMC
February 2021

Concurrent germline and somatic pathogenic BAP1 variants in a patient with metastatic bladder cancer.

NPJ Genom Med 2020 23;5:12. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

1Department of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC Canada.

Germline pathogenic variants in the BRCA1-associated protein-1 () gene cause the BAP1 tumor predisposition syndrome (TPDS). BAP1 TPDS is associated with an increased risk of uveal and cutaneous melanoma, mesothelioma, renal cell carcinoma, and several other cancer subtypes. Here, we report a germline nonsense variant (c.850G>T, p.Glu284Ter) in a patient with bladder cancer and a strong family history of malignancy. Concurrently, we identified a somatic frameshift variant, and as expected, immunostaining validated the loss of BAP1 protein in patient-derived tumor specimens. Together, these data provide strong evidence of pathogenicity in this case. With the addition of bladder cancer to the tumor types reported with germline mutations, our understanding of the BAP1 TPDS continues to evolve, and may affect future screening and surveillance guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41525-020-0121-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7089973PMC
March 2020

Optimal sequencing of enzalutamide and abiraterone acetate plus prednisone in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: a multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 2, crossover trial.

Lancet Oncol 2019 12 11;20(12):1730-1739. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

Division of Medical Oncology, BC Cancer, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Vancouver Prostate Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Abiraterone acetate plus prednisone and enzalutamide are both used for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. We aimed to determine the best sequence in which to use both drugs, as well as their second-line efficacy.

Methods: In this multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 2, crossover trial done in six cancer centres in British Columbia, Canada, we recruited patients aged 18 years or older with newly-diagnosed metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer without neuroendocrine differentiation and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 2 or less. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) using a computer-generated random number table to receive either abiraterone acetate 1000 mg orally once daily plus prednisone 5 mg orally twice daily until PSA progression followed by crossover to enzalutamide 160 mg orally once daily (group A), or the opposite sequence (group B). Treatment was not masked to investigators or participants. Primary endpoints were time to second PSA progression and PSA response (≥30% decline from baseline) on second-line therapy, analysed by intention-to-treat in all randomly assigned patients and in patients who crossed over, respectively. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02125357.

Findings: Between Oct 21, 2014, and Dec 13, 2016, 202 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to either group A (n=101) or group B (n=101). At the time of data cutoff, 73 (72%) patients in group A and 75 (74%) patients in group B had crossed over. Time to second PSA progression was longer in group A than in group B (median 19·3 months [95% CI 16·0-30·5] vs 15·2 months [95% CI 11·9-19·8] months; hazard ratio 0·66, 95% CI 0·45-0·97, p=0·036), at a median follow-up of 22·8 months (IQR 10·3-33·4). PSA responses to second-line therapy were seen in 26 (36%) of 73 patients for enzalutamide and three (4%) of 75 for abiraterone (χ p<0·0001). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events throughout the trial were hypertension (27 [27%] of 101 patients in group A vs 18 [18%] of 101 patients in group B) and fatigue (six [10%] vs four [4%]). Serious adverse events were reported in 15 (15%) of 101 patients in group A and 20 (20%) of 101 patients in group B. There were no treatment-related deaths.

Interpretation: Enzalutamide showed activity as a second-line novel androgen receptor pathway inhibitor, whereas abiraterone acetate did not, leading to a longer time to second PSA progression for the sequence of abiraterone followed by enzalutamide than with the opposite treatment sequence. Our data suggest that using a sequencing strategy of abiraterone acetate followed by enzalutamide provides the greatest clinical benefit.

Funding: Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Prostate Cancer Canada, Movember Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Terry Fox New Frontiers Program, BC Cancer Foundation, Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, Janssen, and Astellas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30688-6DOI Listing
December 2019

Predictive Biomarkers for Checkpoint Blockade in Urothelial Cancer: A Systematic Review.

J Urol 2019 07 7;202(1):49-56. Epub 2019 Jun 7.

Department of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency , Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada.

Purpose: Immune checkpoint inhibitors have had a major impact on the management of advanced urothelial cancer. Despite the impact only a minority of patients derive benefit. In this context predictive biomarkers which can assist in patient selection are needed. In this systematic review we surveyed the current biomarkers which have been investigated in clinical studies and their potential for patient selection.

Materials And Methods: We searched MEDLINE® and EMBASE®, and manually reviewed major meeting abstracts to find studies in humans of immune checkpoint inhibitors given for urothelial cancer that included biomarkers and clinical outcomes. Studies had to provide the correlation between biomarkers and outcomes to be included in analysis. Results published only in abstract form were included since several important biomarker studies have yet to be published.

Results: We retrieved 1,236 studies, of which 921 were unique and screened, including 144 which met criteria for full review and 25 were included in the analysis. The manual search yielded 1 additional entry not included in our systematic review for a total of 26 entries. The checkpoint inhibitors used in these studies included atezolizumab, avelumab, durvalumab, ipilimumab, nivolumab and pembrolizumab. The biomarkers tested included PD-L1 immunohistochemistry, molecular subtyping and immune gene expression analysis by RNA sequencing, targeted gene panels for mutations in DNA damage repair genes and estimation of the tumor mutational burden, genomic alterations and the total mutational burden by exome sequencing, analysis of tumor immune infiltrate by immunohistochemistry and T-cell receptor sequencing, and analysis of circulating immune cells and cytokines.

Conclusions: No single biomarker has been able to accurately predict the response to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Most studies included only a treatment arm and without a comparator arm it is not possible to ascertain whether biomarkers are predictive or merely prognostic. While PD-L1 immunohistochemistry has been largely unsuccessful, other biomarkers reflecting the immunogenicity of the underlying tumor, the characteristics of the immune infiltrate and the properties of the patient immune system have shown promising data. However, all are in need of validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000000136DOI Listing
July 2019

The efficacy and safety of sunitinib given on an individualised schedule as first-line therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma: A phase 2 clinical trial.

Eur J Cancer 2019 02 14;108:69-77. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Cross Cancer Institute, 11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 1Z2, Canada.

Background: Sunitinib is administered on a rigid schedule that may not be optimal for all patients. We hypothesised that toxicity-driven dose and schedule changes would optimise drug exposure and outcome for each patient.

Materials And Methods: In a phase 2 trial, 117 patients with metastatic clear cell renal cell cancer were started on sunitinib 50 mg/day with the aim to treat for 28 days. Treatment breaks were reduced to 7 days. Sunitinib dose and the number of days on therapy were individualised based on toxicity aiming for ≤ grade II toxicity with dose escalation in patients with minimal toxicity. The null hypothesis for the primary end-point was a progression-free survival (PFS) of 8.5 months based on a study with similar eligibility criteria.

Results: The null hypothesis was rejected (p < 0.001) with a median PFS of 12.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.6-16.5). The median overall survival was 38.5 months (95% CI: 28.3-not reached). The objective response rate (46.1%) and stable disease rate (38.5%) translated into a clinical benefit for 84.6% of patients with no decline in quality of life scores during therapy. Fewer patients were dose reduced (26.5% vs. 50%) or discontinued due to toxicity (7.7 vs. 18-20%) compared to standard sunitinib dosing, and 20 (18.4%) patients were dose escalated to 62.5 mg (12) and 75 mg (8) with a wide individual variation in the optimal dose and treatment duration.

Conclusions: Individualised sunitinib therapy is feasible, safe and an effective method to manage toxicity with one of the best efficacy seen for oral vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors in metastatic renal cell carcinoma. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT01499121.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.12.006DOI Listing
February 2019

Health-related Quality of Life for Abiraterone Plus Prednisone Versus Enzalutamide in Patients with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer: Results from a Phase II Randomized Trial.

Eur Urol 2019 06 24;75(6):940-947. Epub 2018 Dec 24.

Department of Medical Oncology, BC Cancer Vancouver Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Department of Urological Sciences, The Vancouver Prostate Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Abiraterone and enzalutamide are associated with side effects that may impair health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Objective: To assess patient-reported HRQoL, depression symptoms, and cognitive function for abiraterone versus enzalutamide.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We randomized 202 patients in a phase II study of abiraterone versus enzalutamide for first-line treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02125357).

Intervention: Patients completed Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Prostate (FACT-P) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) questionnaires, and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) cognitive assessments at baseline and on treatment.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: To compare the change in FACT-P scores over time between treatment arms, we used a mixed model for repeated measures (MMRM). For FACT-P domains where there was an interaction between the treatment arm and age, we constructed separate models for patients aged <75 and ≥75yr. We compared the proportion of patients with clinically meaningful change from baseline for FACT-P, and the proportion of patients with an abnormal score and median change from baseline for PHQ-9 and MoCA using Fisher's exact test and Mann-Whitney U test.

Results And Limitations: In the MMRM analysis, there was a positive test for interaction in the treatment arm by age for total FACT-P (p=0.048). FACT-P change from baseline over time was better for abiraterone than for enzalutamide in the ≥75-yr model (p=0.003), with no difference in the <75-yr model (p>0.9). A higher proportion of patients experienced clinically meaningful worsening with enzalutamide for the physical and functional well-being domains (37% vs 21%, p=0.013; 39% vs 23%, p=0.015). The distribution of change in PHQ-9 scores from baseline favored abiraterone at weeks 4, 8, and 12. These analyses were not prespecified, and results should be considered to be hypothesis generating.

Conclusions: Patient-reported outcomes favored abiraterone compared with enzalutamide with differences in FACT-P HRQoL and PHQ-9 depression scores. Differences in the total FACT-P scores were seen only in the elderly patient subgroup.

Patient Summary: In this report, we examined the change in patient-reported quality-of-life scores from the start of treatment over time for patients treated with abiraterone versus enzalutamide for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. We found that elderly patients treated with abiraterone had better quality of life over time, with no difference between treatments for the younger subgroup of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2018.12.015DOI Listing
June 2019

Clinical effectiveness of docetaxel for castration-sensitive prostate cancer in a real-world population-based analysis.

Prostate 2019 02 28;79(3):281-287. Epub 2018 Oct 28.

Division of Medical Oncology, University of British Columbia, BC Cancer, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Background: Adding docetaxel to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for the treatment of metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer (mCSPC) has known efficacy, with an overall survival benefit in Phase III clinical trials. The effectiveness of docetaxel with ADT in the general patient population remains undefined.

Patients And Methods: We conducted a population-based retrospective review using the British Columbia Provincial Pharmacy Database. To be included, patients had to have castration-sensitive prostate cancer not previously treated (except in the adjuvant setting) and have received at least one cycle of docetaxel, with complete records available for review. Safety and clinical effectiveness were evaluated.

Results: From April 2015 to February 2017, we identified 183 cases; 156 met inclusion criteria. Most patients had high-volume disease (80%). All 6 planned docetaxel cycles were delivered in 126 cases (81%). Dose reductions and delays were required in 39% and 16% of cases. Grade 3-4 adverse events were noted in 40%, with no treatment-related deaths. The rate of febrile neutropenia was 18% and was significantly associated with the presence of high-volume disease (P = 0.038). PSA ≤ 0.2 ng/L was achieved in 27% of patients after 6 months of ADT and maintained in 16% after 12 months. Patients with over 20 bone metastases had worse time to castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and time to treatment for CRPC, and a trend toward worse overall survival. CRPC developed in 41% within 1 year, with a median time to CRPC of 14.4 months. Treatment for CRPC was given in 84 cases, with 90% receiving either abiraterone or enzalutamide in the first-line, with a PSA decline ≥50% occurring in 47%.

Conclusions: The effectiveness of docetaxel with ADT in a general population of patients with mCSPC was associated with poorer outcomes and high rates of toxicity compared to the published studies. Response rates to first-line treatment for mCRPC with abiraterone or enzalutamide appear similar to reported outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.23733DOI Listing
February 2019

Editorial Comment.

J Urol 2018 12 24;200(6):1262-1263. Epub 2018 Aug 24.

Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2018.06.087DOI Listing
December 2018

Statin use and survival in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer treated with abiraterone or enzalutamide after docetaxel failure: the international retrospective observational STABEN study.

Oncotarget 2018 Apr 13;9(28):19861-19873. Epub 2018 Apr 13.

Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Background: Statins may potentiate the effects of anti-hormonal agents for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) through further disruption of essential steroidogenic processes. We investigated the effects of statin use on clinical outcomes in patients with mCRPC receiving abiraterone or enzalutamide.

Materials And Methods: This was a retrospective multicenter study including patients that received abiraterone or enzalutamide for mCRPC. The effect of concurrent statin use on outcomes was evaluated. The associations of statins with early (≤12 weeks) prostate-specific antigen (PSA) declines (> 30%), cancer-specific survival and overall survival (OS) were evaluated after controlling for known prognostic factors.

Results: Five hundred and ninety-eight patients treated with second-line abiraterone or enzalutamide after docetaxel for mCRPC were included. A total of 199 men (33.3%) received statins during abiraterone/enzalutamide treatment. Median OS was 20.8 months (95% CI = 18.3-23.2) for patients who received statins, versus 12.9 months (95% CI = 11.4-14.6) for patients who did not receive statins ( < 0.001). After adjusting for age, alkaline phosphatase, PSA, neutrophil-to-lymphocytes ratio, Charlson comorbidity score, Gleason score, visceral disease, hemoglobin, opiate use and abiraterone versus enzalutamide treatment, the use of statin therapy was associated with a 53% reduction in the overall risk of death (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.47; 95% CI = 0.35-0.63; < 0.001). Statin use was also associated with a 63% increased odds of a > 30% PSA decline within the first 12 weeks of treatment (OR = 1.63; 95% CI = 1.03-2.60; = 0.039).

Conclusions: In this retrospective cohort, statin use was significantly associated with both prolonged OS and cancer-specific survival and increased early > 30% PSA declines. Prospective validation is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24888DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5929432PMC
April 2018

The impact of time to metastasis on overall survival in patients with prostate cancer.

World J Urol 2018 Jul 27;36(7):1039-1046. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

Vancouver Prostate Centre & Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Purpose: Time to metastasis is often used as a surrogate parameter of treatment success in clinical trials for prostate cancer. However, it has not been shown that there is a clear correlation between time to metastasis and overall survival. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of time to metastasis on OS in patients with prostate cancer.

Methods: Between 2008 and 2015, 269 patients with mPCa were included in this retrospective study with a median follow-up of 7.1 years. Patients were divided into three groups: (1) Presentation with metastasis within three months of initial diagnosis (de-novo-M); (2) patients free of metastasis initially but developed metastasis more than 6 months prior to castration resistance (CSPC-M); (3) patients who developed metastasis within 6 months of becoming castration resistant or after (CRPC-M).

Results: There was a significant decrease in OS when metastases were present at diagnosis (median 6.39 years) compared to CRPC-M (19.07) and CSPC-M (18.19 years). De-novo-M and CSPC-M showed a longer OS from occurrence of metastasis to death when compared to CRPC-M, although reaching CRPC earlier. There was no difference in OS between the groups once castration resistance was reached. Time from initial diagnosis to metastasis and to CRPC was correlated with OS and remained important prognosticators in multivariate Cox-regression (p < 0.01 for both).

Conclusions: Time from diagnosis to CRPC (all patients) and time to metastasis (for CRPC-M and CSPC-M patients) are significant prognosticators of overall survival and are therefore valid surrogates in a study setting. Therefore, time to CRPC should be prolonged as long as possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-018-2236-4DOI Listing
July 2018

Circulating Tumor DNA Genomics Correlate with Resistance to Abiraterone and Enzalutamide in Prostate Cancer.

Cancer Discov 2018 04 24;8(4):444-457. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Primary resistance to androgen receptor (AR)-directed therapies in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is poorly understood. We randomized 202 patients with treatment-naïve mCRPC to abiraterone or enzalutamide and performed whole-exome and deep targeted 72-gene sequencing of plasma cell-free DNA prior to therapy. For these agents, which have never been directly compared, time to progression was similar. Defects in and were strongly associated with poor clinical outcomes independently of clinical prognostic factors and circulating tumor DNA abundance. Somatic alterations in , previously linked to reduced tumor dependency on AR signaling, were also independently associated with rapid resistance. Although detection of amplifications did not outperform standard prognostic biomarkers, gene structural rearrangements truncating the ligand binding domain were identified in several patients with primary resistance. These findings establish genomic drivers of resistance to first-line AR-directed therapy in mCRPC and identify potential minimally invasive biomarkers. Leveraging plasma specimens collected in a large randomized phase II trial, we report the relative impact of common circulating tumor DNA alterations on patient response to the most widely used therapies for advanced prostate cancer. Our findings suggest that liquid biopsy analysis can guide the use of AR-targeted therapy in general practice. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-17-0937DOI Listing
April 2018

Circulating Tumor DNA Reveals Clinically Actionable Somatic Genome of Metastatic Bladder Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2017 Nov 31;23(21):6487-6497. Epub 2017 Jul 31.

Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada.

Targeted agents and immunotherapies promise to transform the treatment of metastatic bladder cancer, but therapy selection will depend on practical tumor molecular stratification. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is established in several solid malignancies as a minimally invasive tool to profile the tumor genome in real-time, but is critically underexplored in bladder cancer. We applied a combination of whole-exome sequencing and targeted sequencing across 50 bladder cancer driver genes to plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from 51 patients with aggressive bladder cancer, including 37 with metastatic disease. The majority of patients with metastasis, but only 14% of patients with localized disease, had ctDNA proportions above 2% of total cfDNA (median 16.5%, range 3.9%-72.6%). Twelve percent of estimable samples had evidence of genome hypermutation. We reveal an aggressive mutational landscape in metastatic bladder cancer with 95% of patients harboring deleterious alterations to , or , and 70% harboring a mutation or disrupting rearrangement affecting chromatin modifiers such as Targetable alterations in MAPK/ERK or PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways were robustly detected, including amplification of (20% of patients) and activating hotspot mutations in A (20%), with the latter mutually exclusive to truncating mutations in A novel gene fusion was identified in consecutive samples from one patient. Our study demonstrates that ctDNA provides a practical and cost-effective snapshot of driver gene status in metastatic bladder cancer. The identification of a wide spectrum of clinically informative somatic alterations nominates ctDNA as a tool to dissect disease pathogenesis and guide therapy selection in patients with metastatic bladder cancer. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-1140DOI Listing
November 2017

Gene Expression Profiling of Advanced Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma Receiving Cisplatin-based Chemotherapy Improves Prognostication and Identifies Potential Therapeutic Targets.

Eur Urol Focus 2018 09 27;4(5):733-736. Epub 2016 Aug 27.

Department of Medicine, Section of Oncology, UAB School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, USA. Electronic address:

In men with advanced penile squamous cell carcinoma receiving first-line chemotherapy, visceral metastases (VM) and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥1 are poor prognostic factors for overall survival (OS). We hypothesized that tumor gene expression profiling may enhance prognostic stratification and identify potential therapeutic targets. In this retrospective study, RNA extracted from macrodissected tumors underwent profiling for the expression of 738 genes using NanoString. Univariate and multivariate analyses assessed the association of genes, VM, and performance status with OS. Tumors were available from 25 men who received first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy. In univariate analysis, upregulated MAML2 (p=0.004), KITLG (p≤0.0001), and JAK1 (p=0.029) genes were associated with poor OS, and upregulated FANCA was associated with better OS (p=0.024). In stepwise multivariate analyses, VM (hazard ratio=12.75, p=0.0001) and MAML2 (hazard ratio=10.411, p=0.003) were associated with poor OS. The presence of none, one, and both of these poor risk factors was associated with significantly different median OS of 18.4 mo, 7.2 mo, and 2.1 mo, respectively. Unsupervised clustering demonstrated two major molecular subtypes with trend for different survivals (p=0.052). Validation of results is necessary. PATIENT SUMMARY: The expression of the MAML2 gene in penile cancers from men receiving first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy predicted overall survival independent of clinical factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euf.2016.08.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537039PMC
September 2018

A case report of enzalutamide administration in a dialysis-dependent patient with castration-resistant prostate cancer.

J Oncol Pharm Pract 2018 Mar 1;24(2):143-145. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

Division of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada.

Enzalutamide, an androgen receptor signaling inhibitor, is a standard of care treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. We present the first reported case of enzalutamide in a patient with end-stage renal disease, on dialysis. While there were no significant toxicities, a sustained increase in systolic blood pressure was maintained after starting enzalutamide, suggestive of a degree of drug accumulation. Further evaluation of novel hormonal agents in end-stage renal disease patients should be encouraged as this population is typically excluded from clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1078155216689381DOI Listing
March 2018

Prognostic and Predictive Factors in Patients with Advanced Penile Cancer Receiving Salvage (2nd or Later Line) Systemic Treatment: A Retrospective, Multi-Center Study.

Front Pharmacol 2016 20;7:487. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Section of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center Birmingham, AL, USA.

Metastatic penile squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) is associated with dismal outcomes with median overall survival (OS) of 6-12 months in the first-line and <6 months in the salvage setting. Given the rarity of this disease, randomized trials are difficult. Prognostic risk models may assist in rational drug development by comparing observed outcomes in nonrandomized phase II studies and retrospective data vs. predicted outcomes based on baseline prognostic factors in the context of historically used agents. In this retrospective study, we constructed a prognostic model in the salvage setting of PSCC patients receiving second or later line systemic treatment, and also explored differences in outcomes based on type of treatment. : We performed a chart review to identify patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic PSCC who received second or later line systemic treatment in centers from North America and Europe. The primary outcome was OS from initiation of treatment, with secondary outcomes being progression-free survival (PFS) and response rate (RR). OS was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to identify prognostic factors for outcomes using univariable and multivariable models. Sixty-five patients were eligible. Seventeen of 63 evaluable patients had a response (27.0%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 16.6-39.7%) and median OS and PFS were 20 (95% CI = 20-21) and 12 (95% CI = 12, 16) weeks, respectively. Visceral metastasis (VM) and hemoglobin (Hb) ≤ 10 gm/dl were consistently significant poor prognostic factors for both OS and PFS, and Hb was also prognostic for response. The 28 patients with neither risk factor had a median OS (95% CI) of 24 (20-40) weeks and 1-year (95% CI) OS of 13.7% (4.4-42.7%), while the 37 patients with 1 or 2 risk factors had median OS (95% CI) of 20 (16-20) weeks and 1-year (95% CI) OS of 6.7% (1.8-24.9%). Cetuximab-including regimens were associated with a trend for improved RR compared to other agents (Odds ratio = 5.05, 95% CI = 0.84-30.37, = 0.077). Taxanes vs. non-taxane, and combination vs. single agent therapy was not associated with improved outcomes. The study is limited by its modest sample size. This is the first prognostic classification proposed for patients receiving salvage systemic therapy for advanced PSCC. The presence of VM and Hb ≤ 10 gm/dl was associated with poor OS and PFS. Cetuximab appeared to be associated with better RR. This prognostic model may assist in salvage therapy drug development for this orphan disease by improving interpretation of outcomes seen in nonrandomized data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2016.00487DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5168461PMC
December 2016

Atezolizumab as first-line treatment in cisplatin-ineligible patients with locally advanced and metastatic urothelial carcinoma: a single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 trial.

Lancet 2017 01 8;389(10064):67-76. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background: First-line chemotherapy for patients with cisplatin-ineligible locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma is associated with short response duration, poor survival, and high toxicity. This study assessed atezolizumab (anti-programmed death-ligand 1 [PD-L1]) as treatment for metastatic urothelial cancer in cisplatin-ineligible patients.

Methods: For this single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 study, in 47 academic medical centres and community oncology practices in seven countries in North America and Europe, we recruited previously untreated patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who were cisplatin ineligible. Patients were given 1200 mg intravenous atezolizumab every 21 days until progression. The primary endpoint was independently confirmed objective response rate per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 (central review), assessed in prespecified subgroups based on PD-L1 expression and in all patients. All participants who received one or more doses of atezolizumab were included in the primary and safety analyses. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02108652.

Findings: Between June 9, 2014, and March 30, 2015, we enrolled 123 patients, of whom 119 received one or more doses of atezolizumab. At 17·2 months' median follow-up, the objective response rate was 23% (95% CI 16 to 31), the complete response rate was 9% (n=11), and 19 of 27 responses were ongoing. Median response duration was not reached. Responses occurred across all PD-L1 and poor prognostic factor subgroups. Median progression-free survival was 2·7 months (2·1 to 4·2). Median overall survival was 15·9 months (10·4 to not estimable). Tumour mutation load was associated with response. Treatment-related adverse events that occurred in 10% or more of patients were fatigue (36 [30%] patients), diarrhoea (14 [12%] patients), and pruritus (13 [11%] patients). One treatment-related death (sepsis) occurred. Nine (8%) patients had an adverse event leading to treatment discontinuation. Immune-mediated events occurred in 14 (12%) patients.

Interpretation: Atezolizumab showed encouraging durable response rates, survival, and tolerability, supporting its therapeutic use in untreated metastatic urothelial cancer.

Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche, Genentech.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32455-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5568632PMC
January 2017

Sunitinib maintenance therapy after response to docetaxel in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Invest New Drugs 2016 12 26;34(6):771-776. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

Department of Medical Oncology, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Cancer Centre, 600 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4E6, Canada.

Background Docetaxel is a standard first-line treatment option for men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Sunitinib is attractive as a maintenance therapy due to its mechanism of action, oral route of administration, and acceptable toxicity profile. We designed a phase II study of sunitinib in patients with mCRPC who responded to docetaxel. Methods Patients with responding or stable disease at the completion of docetaxel treatment received 50 mg of sunitinib on 4 week on 2 week off cycles. Treatment continued until disease progression (either by RECIST 1.1 criteria or by cancer related symptomatic progression), intolerable toxicity, start of new cancer therapy, withdrawal of consent, or death. The primary endpoint was progression free survival. Secondary endpoints included PSA response rate and safety. Results Twenty-three patients were enrolled and treated. The mean number of prior cycles of docetaxel given was 8.6 (range 4-12). The median number of cycles of sunitinib administered was 4 (range 1-11). Adverse events were generally grade 1-2 with 12 % grade ≥ 3 which were of a type and severity expected for sunitinib. Median PFS was 4.4 months (95 % CI: 1.6-5.1). Most patients had immediate PSA increases without other evidence of disease progression, with the mean increases in PSA over baseline being 197 %, 342 %, and 1437 % in Cycles 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Conclusion Sunitinib was tolerable as maintenance therapy but median PFS was significantly lower than the predefined threshold of 6 months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-016-0386-zDOI Listing
December 2016

AR-V7 Transcripts in Whole Blood RNA of Patients with Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer Correlate with Response to Abiraterone Acetate.

J Urol 2017 01 17;197(1):135-142. Epub 2016 Jul 17.

Vancouver Prostate Centre, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; British Columbia Cancer Agency, British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: The expression of AR-V7 (androgen receptor splice variant) 7 in circulating tumor cells has been associated with resistance to abiraterone and enzalutamide in patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer. We used a sensitive, whole blood reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay that does not require circulating tumor cell enrichment to correlate outcomes of abiraterone with whole blood expression of AR-V7 and other prostate cancer associated transcripts.

Materials And Methods: We assessed the expression of AR-V7, FOXA1, GRHL2, HOXB13, KLK2, KLK3 and TMPRSS2:ERG mRNA in 2.5 ml whole blood from each of 27 patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer and 33 controls without cancer as the discovery cohort. Cycle threshold values of controls with the highest gene expression were set as the threshold for a positive test. Thresholds were then applied to a validation cohort of 37 patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer who were commencing abiraterone. Gene expression was correlated with the prostate specific antigen response rate using the chi-square test, and with time to prostate specific antigen progression and overall survival using the log rank test.

Results: In the discovery cohort 3 of 27 patients (11.1%) with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer were AR-V7 positive vs 4 of 37 (10.8%) in the validation cohort. In the validation cohort patients with a positive AR-V7 test had a lower prostate specific antigen response rate (0% vs 42%, p = 0.27) together with shorter median prostate specific antigen progression (0.7 vs 4.0 months, p <0.001) and median overall survival (5.5 vs 22.1 months, p <0.001).

Conclusions: Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction detection of AR-V7 transcripts in whole blood was associated with inferior outcomes in patients treated with abiraterone. These results reinforce the potential usefulness of AR-V7 as a prognostic and predictive biomarker for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2016.06.094DOI Listing
January 2017
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