Publications by authors named "Mark M Pomerantz"

42 Publications

EZH2 inhibition activates a dsRNA-STING-interferon stress axis that potentiates response to PD-1 checkpoint blockade in prostate cancer.

Nat Cancer 2021 Apr 22;2(4):444-456. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Laboratory of Genitourinary Cancer Pathogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Prostate cancers are considered to be immunologically 'cold' tumors given the very few patients who respond to checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) therapy. Recently, enrichment of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) predicted a favorable response to CPI across various disease sites. The enhancer of zeste homolog-2 (EZH2) is overexpressed in prostate cancer and known to negatively regulate ISGs. In the present study, we demonstrate that EZH2 inhibition in prostate cancer models activates a double-stranded RNA-STING-ISG stress response upregulating genes involved in antigen presentation, Th1 chemokine signaling and interferon response, including programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-L1) that is dependent on STING activation. EZH2 inhibition substantially increased intratumoral trafficking of activated CD8 T cells and increased M1 tumor-associated macrophages, overall reversing resistance to PD-1 CPI. Our study identifies EZH2 as a potent inhibitor of antitumor immunity and responsiveness to CPI. These data suggest EZH2 inhibition as a therapeutic direction to enhance prostate cancer response to PD-1 CPI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43018-021-00185-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061902PMC
April 2021

Reprogramming of the FOXA1 cistrome in treatment-emergent neuroendocrine prostate cancer.

Nat Commun 2021 03 30;12(1):1979. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Lineage plasticity, the ability of a cell to alter its identity, is an increasingly common mechanism of adaptive resistance to targeted therapy in cancer. An archetypal example is the development of neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) after treatment of prostate adenocarcinoma (PRAD) with inhibitors of androgen signaling. NEPC is an aggressive variant of prostate cancer that aberrantly expresses genes characteristic of neuroendocrine (NE) tissues and no longer depends on androgens. Here, we investigate the epigenomic basis of this resistance mechanism by profiling histone modifications in NEPC and PRAD patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) using chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing (ChIP-seq). We identify a vast network of cis-regulatory elements (N~15,000) that are recurrently activated in NEPC. The FOXA1 transcription factor (TF), which pioneers androgen receptor (AR) chromatin binding in the prostate epithelium, is reprogrammed to NE-specific regulatory elements in NEPC. Despite loss of dependence upon AR, NEPC maintains FOXA1 expression and requires FOXA1 for proliferation and expression of NE lineage-defining genes. Ectopic expression of the NE lineage TFs ASCL1 and NKX2-1 in PRAD cells reprograms FOXA1 to bind to NE regulatory elements and induces enhancer activity as evidenced by histone modifications at these sites. Our data establish the importance of FOXA1 in NEPC and provide a principled approach to identifying cancer dependencies through epigenomic profiling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22139-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010057PMC
March 2021

Results of a Randomized Phase II Trial of Intense Androgen Deprivation Therapy prior to Radical Prostatectomy in Men with High-Risk Localized Prostate Cancer.

J Urol 2021 07 8;206(1):80-87. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: This multicenter randomized phase 2 trial investigates the impact of intense androgen deprivation on radical prostatectomy pathologic response and radiographic and tissue biomarkers in localized prostate cancer (NCT02903368).

Materials And Methods: Eligible patients had a Gleason score ≥4+3=7, prostate specific antigen >20 ng/mL or T3 disease and lymph nodes <20 mm. In Part 1, patients were randomized 1:1 to apalutamide, abiraterone acetate, prednisone and leuprolide (AAPL) or abiraterone, prednisone, leuprolide (APL) for 6 cycles (1 cycle=28 days) followed by radical prostatectomy. Surgical specimens underwent central review. The primary end point was the rate of pathologic complete response or minimum residual disease (minimum residual disease, tumor ≤5 mm). Secondary end points included prostate specific antigen response, positive margin rate and safety. Magnetic resonance imaging and tissue biomarkers of pathologic outcomes were explored.

Results: The study enrolled 118 patients at 4 sites. Median age was 61 years and 94% of patients had high-risk disease. The combined pathologic complete response or minimum residual disease rate was 22% in the AAPL arm and 20% in the APL arm (difference: 1.5%; 1-sided 95% CI -11%, 14%; 1-sided p=0.4). No new safety signals were observed. There was low concordance and correlation between posttherapy magnetic resonance imaging assessed and pathologically assessed tumor volume. PTEN-loss, ERG positivity and presence of intraductal carcinoma were associated with extensive residual tumor.

Conclusions: Intense neoadjuvant hormone therapy in high-risk prostate cancer resulted in favorable pathologic responses (tumor 5 mm) in 21% of patients. Pathologic responses were similar between treatment arms. Part 2 of this study will investigate the impact of adjuvant hormone therapy on biochemical recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001702DOI Listing
July 2021

Dual Blockade of c-MET and the Androgen Receptor in Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer: A Phase I Study of Concurrent Enzalutamide and Crizotinib.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 12 17;26(23):6122-6131. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Purpose: Androgen receptor (AR) inhibition can upregulate c-MET expression, which may be a resistance mechanism driving progression of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). We conducted a phase I trial investigating the safety and pharmacokinetics of a potent c-MET inhibitor, crizotinib, with the AR antagonist, enzalutamide, in CRPC.

Patients And Methods: Employing a 3+3 dose-escalation design, we tested three dose levels of crizotinib (250 mg daily, 200 mg twice a day, and 250 mg twice a day) with standard-dose enzalutamide (160 mg daily). The primary endpoint was rate of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs). Tolerability and pharmacokinetics profile were secondary endpoints.

Results: Twenty-four patients were enrolled in the dose-escalation ( = 16) and dose-expansion ( = 8) phases. Two DLTs occurred in dose escalation (grade 3 alanine aminotransferase elevation). The MTD of crizotinib was 250 mg twice a day. Most frequent treatment-related adverse events were fatigue (50%), transaminitis (38%), nausea (33%), and vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea (21% each). Grade ≥3 events (25%) included transaminitis ( = 2), fatigue ( = 1), hypertension ( = 1), pulmonary embolism ( = 1), and a cardiac event encompassing QTc prolongation/ventricular arrhythmia/cardiac arrest. Median progression-free survival was 5.5 months (95% confidence interval, 2.8-21.2). Pharmacokinetics analysis at the MTD ( = 12) revealed a mean of 104 ± 45 ng/mL and AUC of 1,000 ± 476 ng•h/mL, representing a 74% decrease in crizotinib systemic exposure relative to historical data ( , 315 ng/mL and AUC , 3,817 ng•h/mL).

Conclusions: Concurrent administration of enzalutamide and crizotinib resulted in a clinically significant 74% decrease in systemic crizotinib exposure. Further investigation of this combination in CRPC is not planned. Our results highlight the importance of evaluating pharmacokinetics interactions when evaluating novel combination strategies in CRPC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2306DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935424PMC
December 2020

Prostate cancer reactivates developmental epigenomic programs during metastatic progression.

Nat Genet 2020 08 20;52(8):790-799. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Epigenetic processes govern prostate cancer (PCa) biology, as evidenced by the dependency of PCa cells on the androgen receptor (AR), a prostate master transcription factor. We generated 268 epigenomic datasets spanning two state transitions-from normal prostate epithelium to localized PCa to metastases-in specimens derived from human tissue. We discovered that reprogrammed AR sites in metastatic PCa are not created de novo; rather, they are prepopulated by the transcription factors FOXA1 and HOXB13 in normal prostate epithelium. Reprogrammed regulatory elements commissioned in metastatic disease hijack latent developmental programs, accessing sites that are implicated in prostate organogenesis. Analysis of reactivated regulatory elements enabled the identification and functional validation of previously unknown metastasis-specific enhancers at HOXB13, FOXA1 and NKX3-1. Finally, we observed that prostate lineage-specific regulatory elements were strongly associated with PCa risk heritability and somatic mutation density. Examining prostate biology through an epigenomic lens is fundamental for understanding the mechanisms underlying tumor progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0664-8DOI Listing
August 2020

Detection of Molecular Signatures of Homologous Recombination Deficiency in Prostate Cancer with or without BRCA1/2 Mutations.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 06 18;26(11):2673-2680. Epub 2020 Feb 18.

Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Purpose: Prostate cancers with mutations in genes involved in homologous recombination (HR), most commonly BRCA2, respond favorably to PARP inhibition and platinum-based chemotherapy. We investigated whether other prostate tumors that do not harbor deleterious mutations in these particular genes can similarly be deficient in HR, likely rendering those sensitive to HR-directed therapies.

Experimental Design: Homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) levels can be estimated using various mutational signatures derived from next-generation sequencing data. We used this approach on whole-genome sequencing (WGS; = 311) and whole-exome sequencing (WES) data ( = 498) of both primary and metastatic prostate adenocarcinomas to determine whether prostate cancer cases display clear signs of HRD in somatic tumor biopsies.

Results: Known BRCA-deficient samples showed all previously described HRD-associated mutational signatures in the WGS data. HRD-associated mutational signatures were also detected in a subset of patients who did not harbor germline or somatic mutations in BRCA1/2 or other HR-related genes. Similar results, albeit with lower sensitivity and accuracy, were also obtained from WES data.

Conclusions: These findings may expand the number of cases likely to respond to PARP inhibitor treatment. On the basis of the HR-associated mutational signatures, 5% to 8% of localized prostate cancer cases may be good candidates for PARP-inhibitor treatment (including those with BRCA1/2 mutations).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2135DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8387086PMC
June 2020

Allele-Specific QTL Fine Mapping with PLASMA.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 02 30;106(2):170-187. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA; The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Brigham & Women's Hospital, Division of Genetics, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address:

Although quantitative trait locus (QTL) associations have been identified for many molecular traits such as gene expression, it remains challenging to distinguish the causal nucleotide from nearby variants. In addition to traditional QTLs by association, allele-specific (AS) QTLs are a powerful measure of cis-regulation that are concordant with traditional QTLs but typically less susceptible to technical/environmental noise. However, existing methods for estimating causal variant probabilities (i.e., fine mapping) cannot produce valid estimates from asQTL signals due to complexities in linkage disequilibrium (LD). We introduce PLASMA (Population Allele-Specific Mapping), a fine-mapping method that integrates QTL and asQTL information to improve accuracy. In simulations, PLASMA accurately prioritizes causal variants over a wide range of genetic architectures. Applied to RNA-seq data from 524 kidney tumor samples, PLASMA achieves a greater power at 50 samples than conventional QTL-based fine mapping at 500 samples, with more than 17% of loci fine mapped to within five causal variants, compared to 2% by QTL-based fine mapping, and a 6.9-fold overall reduction in median credible set size compared to QTL-based fine mapping when applied to H3K27AC ChIP-seq from just 28 prostate tumor/normal samples. Variants in the PLASMA credible sets for RNA-seq and ChIP-seq were enriched for open chromatin and chromatin looping, respectively, at a comparable or greater degree than credible variants from existing methods while containing far fewer markers. Our results demonstrate how integrating AS activity can substantially improve the detection of causal variants from existing molecular data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.12.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7011109PMC
February 2020

Association of Genomic Domains in and with Prostate Cancer Risk and Aggressiveness.

Cancer Res 2020 02 13;80(3):624-638. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Unité de Prévention et d'Epidémiologie Génétique, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Pathogenic sequence variants (PSV) in or () are associated with increased risk and severity of prostate cancer. We evaluated whether PSVs in were associated with risk of overall prostate cancer or high grade (Gleason 8+) prostate cancer using an international sample of 65 and 171 male PSV carriers with prostate cancer, and 3,388 and 2,880 male PSV carriers without prostate cancer. PSVs in the 3' region of (c.7914+) were significantly associated with elevated risk of prostate cancer compared with reference bin c.1001-c.7913 [HR = 1.78; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25-2.52; = 0.001], as well as elevated risk of Gleason 8+ prostate cancer (HR = 3.11; 95% CI, 1.63-5.95; = 0.001). c.756-c.1000 was also associated with elevated prostate cancer risk (HR = 2.83; 95% CI, 1.71-4.68; = 0.00004) and elevated risk of Gleason 8+ prostate cancer (HR = 4.95; 95% CI, 2.12-11.54; = 0.0002). No genotype-phenotype associations were detected for PSVs in . These results demonstrate that specific PSVs may be associated with elevated risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. SIGNIFICANCE: Aggressive prostate cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers may vary according to the specific BRCA2 mutation inherited by the at-risk individual.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-1840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7553241PMC
February 2020

Genome-wide germline correlates of the epigenetic landscape of prostate cancer.

Nat Med 2019 10 7;25(10):1615-1626. Epub 2019 Oct 7.

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Oncogenesis is driven by germline, environmental and stochastic factors. It is unknown how these interact to produce the molecular phenotypes of tumors. We therefore quantified the influence of germline polymorphisms on the somatic epigenome of 589 localized prostate tumors. Predisposition risk loci influence a tumor's epigenome, uncovering a mechanism for cancer susceptibility. We identified and validated 1,178 loci associated with altered methylation in tumoral but not nonmalignant tissue. These tumor methylation quantitative trait loci influence chromatin structure, as well as RNA and protein abundance. One prominent tumor methylation quantitative trait locus is associated with AKT1 expression and is predictive of relapse after definitive local therapy in both discovery and validation cohorts. These data reveal intricate crosstalk between the germ line and the epigenome of primary tumors, which may help identify germline biomarkers of aggressive disease to aid patient triage and optimize the use of more invasive or expensive diagnostic assays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0579-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7418214PMC
October 2019

CDK7 Inhibition Suppresses Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer through MED1 Inactivation.

Cancer Discov 2019 11 29;9(11):1538-1555. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Department of Cancer Biology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is a fatal disease, primarily resulting from the transcriptional addiction driven by androgen receptor (AR). First-line CRPC treatments typically target AR signaling, but are rapidly bypassed, resulting in only a modest survival benefit with antiandrogens. Therapeutic approaches that more effectively block the AR-transcriptional axis are urgently needed. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism underlying the association between the transcriptional coactivator MED1 and AR as a vulnerability in AR-driven CRPC. MED1 undergoes CDK7-dependent phosphorylation at T1457 and physically engages AR at superenhancer sites, and is essential for AR-mediated transcription. In addition, a CDK7-specific inhibitor, THZ1, blunts AR-dependent neoplastic growth by blocking AR/MED1 corecruitment genome-wide, as well as reverses the hyperphosphorylated MED1-associated enzalutamide-resistant phenotype. , THZ1 induces tumor regression of AR-amplified human CRPC in a xenograft mouse model. Together, we demonstrate that CDK7 inhibition selectively targets MED1-mediated, AR-dependent oncogenic transcriptional amplification, thus representing a potential new approach for the treatment of CRPC. SIGNIFICANCE: Potent inhibition of AR signaling is critical to treat CRPC. This study uncovers a driver role for CDK7 in regulating AR-mediated transcription through phosphorylation of MED1, thus revealing a therapeutically targetable potential vulnerability in AR-addicted CRPC...
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0189DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202356PMC
November 2019

Sex specific associations in genome wide association analysis of renal cell carcinoma.

Eur J Hum Genet 2019 10 23;27(10):1589-1598. Epub 2019 Jun 23.

Russian N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Centre, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has an undisputed genetic component and a stable 2:1 male to female sex ratio in its incidence across populations, suggesting possible sexual dimorphism in its genetic susceptibility. We conducted the first sex-specific genome-wide association analysis of RCC for men (3227 cases, 4916 controls) and women (1992 cases, 3095 controls) of European ancestry from two RCC genome-wide scans and replicated the top findings using an additional series of men (2261 cases, 5852 controls) and women (1399 cases, 1575 controls) from two independent cohorts of European origin. Our study confirmed sex-specific associations for two known RCC risk loci at 14q24.2 (DPF3) and 2p21(EPAS1). We also identified two additional suggestive male-specific loci at 6q24.3 (SAMD5, male odds ratio (OR) = 0.83 [95% CI = 0.78-0.89], P = 1.71 × 10 compared with female odds ratio (OR) = 0.98 [95% CI = 0.90-1.07], P = 0.68) and 12q23.3 (intergenic, OR = 0.75 [95% CI = 0.68-0.83], P = 1.59 × 10 compared with OR = 0.93 [95% CI = 0.82-1.06], P = 0.21) that attained genome-wide significance in the joint meta-analysis. Herein, we provide evidence of sex-specific associations in RCC genetic susceptibility and advocate the necessity of larger genetic and genomic studies to unravel the endogenous causes of sex bias in sexually dimorphic traits and diseases like RCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-019-0455-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777615PMC
October 2019

A Novel Mechanism Driving Poor-Prognosis Prostate Cancer: Overexpression of the DNA Repair Gene, Ribonucleotide Reductase Small Subunit M2 (RRM2).

Clin Cancer Res 2019 07 17;25(14):4480-4492. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

Purpose: Defects in genes in the DNA repair pathways significantly contribute to prostate cancer progression. We hypothesize that overexpression of DNA repair genes may also drive poorer outcomes in prostate cancer. The ribonucleotide reductase small subunit M2 (RRM2) is essential for DNA synthesis and DNA repair by producing dNTPs. It is frequently overexpressed in cancers, but very little is known about its function in prostate cancer.

Experimental Design: The oncogenic activity of RRM2 in prostate cancer cells was assessed by inhibiting or overexpressing RRM2. The molecular mechanisms of RRM2 function were determined. The clinical significance of RRM2 overexpression was evaluated in 11 prostate cancer clinical cohorts. The efficacy of an RRM2 inhibitor (COH29) was assessed and . Finally, the mechanism underlying the transcriptional activation of RRM2 in prostate cancer tissue and cells was determined.

Results: Knockdown of RRM2 inhibited its oncogenic function, whereas overexpression of RRM2 promoted epithelial mesenchymal transition in prostate cancer cells. The prognostic value of RRM2 RNA levels in prostate cancer was confirmed in 11 clinical cohorts. Integrating the transcriptomic and phosphoproteomic changes induced by RRM2 unraveled multiple oncogenic pathways downstream of RRM2. Targeting RRM2 with COH29 showed excellent efficacy. Thirteen putative RRM2-targeting transcription factors were bioinformatically identified, and FOXM1 was validated to transcriptionally activate RRM2 in prostate cancer.

Conclusions: We propose that increased expression of RRM2 is a mechanism driving poor patient outcomes in prostate cancer and that its inhibition may be of significant therapeutic value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-4046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6820162PMC
July 2019

Prostate-only Versus Whole-pelvis Radiation with or Without a Brachytherapy Boost for Gleason Grade Group 5 Prostate Cancer: A Retrospective Analysis.

Eur Urol 2020 01 13;77(1):3-10. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Veteran Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Background: The role of elective whole-pelvis radiotherapy (WPRT) remains controversial. Few studies have investigated it in Gleason grade group (GG) 5 prostate cancer (PCa), known to have a high risk of nodal metastases.

Objective: To assess the impact of WPRT on patients with GG 5 PCa treated with external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or EBRT with a brachytherapy boost (EBRT+BT).

Design, Setting, And Participants: We identified 1170 patients with biopsy-proven GG 5 PCa from 11 centers in the United States and one in Norway treated between 2000 and 2013 (734 with EBRT and 436 with EBRT+BT).

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Biochemical recurrence-free survival (bRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and prostate cancer-specific survival (PCSS) were compared using Cox proportional hazards models with propensity score adjustment.

Results And Limitations: A total of 299 EBRT patients (41%) and 320 EBRT+BT patients (73%) received WPRT. The adjusted 5-yr bRFS rates with WPRT in the EBRT and EBRT+BT groups were 66% and 88%, respectively. Without WPRT, these rates for the EBRT and EBRT+BT groups were 58% and 78%, respectively. The median follow-up was 5.6yr. WPRT was associated with improved bRFS among patients treated with EBRT+BT (hazard ratio [HR] 0.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.2-0.9, p=0.02), but no evidence for improvement was found in those treated with EBRT (HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.6-1.2, p=0.4). WPRT was not significantly associated with improved DMFS or PCSS in the EBRT group (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.7-1.7, p=0.8 for DMFS and HR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.1, p=0.1 for PCSS), or in the EBRT+BT group (HR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.4, p=0.2 for DMFS and HR 0.5 95% CI 0.2-1.2, p=0.1 for PCSS).

Conclusions: WPRT was not associated with improved PCSS or DMFS in patients with GG 5 PCa who received either EBRT or EBRT+BT. However, WPRT was associated with a significant improvement in bRFS among patients receiving EBRT+BT. Strategies to optimize WPRT, potentially with the use of advanced imaging techniques to identify occult nodal disease, are warranted.

Patient Summary: When men with a high Gleason grade prostate cancer receive radiation with external radiation and brachytherapy, the addition of radiation to the pelvis results in a longer duration of prostate-specific antigen control. However, we did not find a difference in their survival from prostate cancer or in their survival without metastatic disease. We also did not find a benefit for radiation to the pelvis in men who received radiation without brachytherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2019.03.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7521828PMC
January 2020

Evaluating the influence of prostate-specific antigen kinetics on metastasis in men with PSA recurrence after partial gland therapy.

Brachytherapy 2019 Mar - Apr;18(2):198-203. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Purpose: Although current Delphi Consensus guidelines do not recommend a specific definition of biochemical recurrence after partial gland therapy, these guidelines acknowledge that serial prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests remain the best marker for monitoring disease after treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine whether PSA velocity at failure per the Phoenix (nadir + 2 ng/mL) definition is associated with metastasis and prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) in a cohort of patients who experienced PSA failure after partial gland therapy.

Methods: Between 1997 and 2007, 285 patients with favorable risk prostate cancer underwent partial prostate brachytherapy to the peripheral zone. PSA velocity was calculated for 94 patients who experienced PSA failure per the Phoenix (nadir + 2) definition. Fine and Gray competing risks regression was performed to determine whether PSA velocity and other clinical factors were associated with metastasis and PCSM.

Results: The median time to PSA failure was 4.2 years (interquartile range: 2.2, 7.9), and the median followup time after PSA failure was 6.5 years (3.5-9.7). Seventeen patients developed metastases, and five experienced PCSM. On multivariate analysis, PSA velocity ≥3.0 ng/mL/year (adjusted hazard ratio 5.97; [2.57, 13.90]; p < 0.001) and PSA nadir (adjusted hazard ratio 0.39; [0.24, 0.64]; p < 0.001) were significantly associated with metastasis. PSA velocity ≥3.0 ng/mL/year was also associated with PCSM (HR 15.3; [1.8, 128.0]; p = 0.012) on univariate analysis.

Conclusions: Rapid PSA velocity at PSA failure after partial gland treatment may be prognostic for long-term outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brachy.2018.12.001DOI Listing
July 2019

The influence of obesity-related factors in the etiology of renal cell carcinoma-A mendelian randomization study.

PLoS Med 2019 01 3;16(1):e1002724. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

National Institute of Public Health, Bucharest, Romania.

Background: Several obesity-related factors have been associated with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but it is unclear which individual factors directly influence risk. We addressed this question using genetic markers as proxies for putative risk factors and evaluated their relation to RCC risk in a mendelian randomization (MR) framework. This methodology limits bias due to confounding and is not affected by reverse causation.

Methods And Findings: Genetic markers associated with obesity measures, blood pressure, lipids, type 2 diabetes, insulin, and glucose were initially identified as instrumental variables, and their association with RCC risk was subsequently evaluated in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 10,784 RCC patients and 20,406 control participants in a 2-sample MR framework. The effect on RCC risk was estimated by calculating odds ratios (ORSD) for a standard deviation (SD) increment in each risk factor. The MR analysis indicated that higher body mass index increases the risk of RCC (ORSD: 1.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.44-1.70), with comparable results for waist-to-hip ratio (ORSD: 1.63, 95% CI 1.40-1.90) and body fat percentage (ORSD: 1.66, 95% CI 1.44-1.90). This analysis further indicated that higher fasting insulin (ORSD: 1.82, 95% CI 1.30-2.55) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP; ORSD: 1.28, 95% CI 1.11-1.47), but not systolic blood pressure (ORSD: 0.98, 95% CI 0.84-1.14), increase the risk for RCC. No association with RCC risk was seen for lipids, overall type 2 diabetes, or fasting glucose.

Conclusions: This study provides novel evidence for an etiological role of insulin in RCC, as well as confirmatory evidence that obesity and DBP influence RCC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6317776PMC
January 2019

A phase 2 trial of abiraterone acetate without glucocorticoids for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Cancer 2019 02 14;125(4):524-532. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Abiraterone acetate suppresses adrenal androgens and glucocorticoids through the inhibition of CYP17; however, given the risk of mineralocorticoid excess, it is administered with glucocorticoids. Herein, the authors performed a phase 2, single-arm study that was designed to assess the safety of abiraterone acetate without steroids in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Methods: Eligible patients had castration-resistant prostate cancer with controlled blood pressure and normal potassium. Patients initially received abiraterone acetate at a dose of 1000 mg daily alone. Those with persistent or severe mineralocorticoid toxicity received treatment with prednisone initiated at a dose of 5 mg twice daily. Therapy was continued until radiographic progression, toxicity, or withdrawal. The primary objective of the current study was to determine the percentage of men requiring prednisone to manage mineralocorticoid toxicity. Toxicity was graded according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0.

Results: A total of 58 patients received at least 1 dose of abiraterone acetate; the majority had metastases (53 patients; 91.4%). Sixteen patients (27.6%) received prior chemotherapy, 6 patients (10.3%) received prior enzalutamide, and 4 patients (7%) received prior ketoconazole. Grade 3 to 4 adverse events of interest included hypertension (9 patients; 15.5%) and hypokalemia (4 patients; 7%). There was no grade ≥3 edema. Seven patients (12%) initiated prednisone therapy for mineralocorticoid toxicity, 3 patients for hypertension (5%), and 4 patients for hypokalemia (7%). Two patients initiated prednisone therapy for fatigue (3%). Forty patients (68%) experienced a decline in prostate-specific antigen of ≥50% with the use of abiraterone acetate alone. Patients with lower baseline levels of androstenedione (P = .04), androsterone (P = .01), dehydroepiandrosterone (P = .03), and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (P = .03) were found to be more likely to develop mineralocorticoid toxicity.

Conclusions: Treatment with abiraterone acetate without steroids is feasible, although clinically significant adverse events can occur in a minority of patients. The use of abiraterone acetate without prednisone should be balanced with the potential for toxicity and requires close monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31836DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6353689PMC
February 2019

Association of genetic variation of the six gene prognostic model for castration-resistant prostate cancer with survival.

Prostate 2019 01 23;79(1):73-80. Epub 2018 Aug 23.

Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

Background: We previously identified a blood RNA transcript-based model consisting of six immune or inflammatory response genes (ABL2, SEMA4D, ITGAL, C1QA, TIMP1, and CDKN1A) that was prognostic for survival in cohorts of men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). We investigated whether inherited variation in these six genes was associated with overall survival (OS) in men with CRPC.

Methods: The test cohort comprised 600 patients diagnosed with CRPC between 1996 and 2011 at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Genotyping of 66 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the six genes was performed on blood derived DNAs. For the top four SNPs (P < 0.05), validation was conducted in an independent cohort of 223 men diagnosed with CRPC between 2000 and 2014. Multivariable Cox regression adjusting for known prognostic factors estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of the association of genetic variants with OS.

Results: Two thirds of patients in both cohorts had metastases at CRPC diagnosis. Median OS from CRPC diagnosis was 3.6 (95%CI 3.3-4.0) years in the test cohort and 4.6 (95%CI 3.8-5.2) years in the validation cohort. Fifty-nine SNPs in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were analyzed. The major alleles of rs1318056 and rs1490311 in ABL2, and the minor alleles of rs2073917 and rs3764322 in ITGAL were associated with increased risk of death in the test cohort (adjusted-HRs 1.27-1.39; adjusted-p <0.05; false discovery rate <0.35). In the validation cohort, a similar association with OS was observed for rs1318056 in ABL2 (adjusted-HR 1.44; 95%CI 0.89-2.34) and rs2073917 in ITGAL (adjusted-HR 1.41; 95%CI 0.82-2.42). The associations did not reach statistical significance most likely due to the small sample size of the validation cohort (adjusted-p = 0.142 and 0.209, respectively). Additional eQTL analysis indicated that minor alleles of rs1318056 and rs1490311 in ABL2 are associated with a lower ABL2 expression in blood.

Conclusions: These findings corroborate our initial work on the RNA expression of genes involved in immunity and inflammation from blood and clinical outcome and suggest that germline polymorphisms in ABL2 and ITGAL may be associated with the risk of death in men with CRPC. Further studies are needed to validate these findings and to explore their functional mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.23712DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6476182PMC
January 2019

Clinical Outcomes for Patients With Gleason Score 10 Prostate Adenocarcinoma: Results From a Multi-institutional Consortium Study.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2018 07 5;101(4):883-888. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Veteran Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California.

Purpose: Gleason score (GS) 10 disease is the most aggressive form of clinically localized prostate adenocarcinoma (PCa). The long-term clinical outcomes and overall prognosis of patients presenting with GS 10 PCa are largely unknown because of its rarity.

Methods And Materials: The study included 112 patients with biopsy-determined GS 10 PCa who received treatment with radical prostatectomy (RP, n = 26), external beam radiation therapy (EBRT, n = 48), or EBRT with a brachytherapy boost (EBRT-BT, n = 38) between 2000 and 2013. Propensity scores were included as covariates for comparative analysis. Overall survival, prostate cancer-specific survival, and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method with inverse probability of treatment weighting to control for confounding.

Results: The median follow-up period was 4.9 years overall (3.9 years for RP, 4.8 years for EBRT, and 5.7 years for EBRT-BT). Significantly more EBRT patients than EBRT-BT patients received upfront androgen deprivation therapy (98% vs 79%, P < .01 by χ test), though the durations were similar (median, 24 months vs 22.5 months). Of the RP patients, 34% received postoperative EBRT, and 35% received neoadjuvant systemic therapy. The propensity score-adjusted 5-year overall survival rate was 80% for the RP group, 73% for the EBRT group, and 83% for the EBRT-BT group. The corresponding adjusted 5-year prostate cancer-specific survival rates were 87%, 75%, and 94%, respectively. The EBRT-BT group trended toward superior DMFS when compared with the RP group (hazard ratio, 0.3; 95% confidence interval 0.1-1.06; P = .06) and had superior DMFS when compared with the EBRT group (hazard ratio, 0.4; 95% confidence interval 0.1-0.99; P = .048).

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the largest series ever reported on the clinical outcomes of patients with biopsy-determined GS 10 PCa. These data provide useful prognostic benchmark information for physicians and patients. Aggressive therapy with curative intent is warranted, as >50% of patients remain free of systemic disease 5 years after treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.03.060DOI Listing
July 2018

A Somatically Acquired Enhancer of the Androgen Receptor Is a Noncoding Driver in Advanced Prostate Cancer.

Cell 2018 07 14;174(2):422-432.e13. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA; The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address:

Increased androgen receptor (AR) activity drives therapeutic resistance in advanced prostate cancer. The most common resistance mechanism is amplification of this locus presumably targeting the AR gene. Here, we identify and characterize a somatically acquired AR enhancer located 650 kb centromeric to the AR. Systematic perturbation of this enhancer using genome editing decreased proliferation by suppressing AR levels. Insertion of an additional copy of this region sufficed to increase proliferation under low androgen conditions and to decrease sensitivity to enzalutamide. Epigenetic data generated in localized prostate tumors and benign specimens support the notion that this region is a developmental enhancer. Collectively, these observations underscore the importance of epigenomic profiling in primary specimens and the value of deploying genome editing to functionally characterize noncoding elements. More broadly, this work identifies a therapeutic vulnerability for targeting the AR and emphasizes the importance of regulatory elements as highly recurrent oncogenic drivers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6046260PMC
July 2018

Radical Prostatectomy, External Beam Radiotherapy, or External Beam Radiotherapy With Brachytherapy Boost and Disease Progression and Mortality in Patients With Gleason Score 9-10 Prostate Cancer.

JAMA 2018 03;319(9):896-905

Department of Urology, University of California, Los Angeles.

Importance: The optimal treatment for Gleason score 9-10 prostate cancer is unknown.

Objective: To compare clinical outcomes of patients with Gleason score 9-10 prostate cancer after definitive treatment.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Retrospective cohort study in 12 tertiary centers (11 in the United States, 1 in Norway), with 1809 patients treated between 2000 and 2013.

Exposures: Radical prostatectomy (RP), external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) with androgen deprivation therapy, or EBRT plus brachytherapy boost (EBRT+BT) with androgen deprivation therapy.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was prostate cancer-specific mortality; distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival were secondary outcomes.

Results: Of 1809 men, 639 underwent RP, 734 EBRT, and 436 EBRT+BT. Median ages were 61, 67.7, and 67.5 years; median follow-up was 4.2, 5.1, and 6.3 years, respectively. By 10 years, 91 RP, 186 EBRT, and 90 EBRT+BT patients had died. Adjusted 5-year prostate cancer-specific mortality rates were RP, 12% (95% CI, 8%-17%); EBRT, 13% (95% CI, 8%-19%); and EBRT+BT, 3% (95% CI, 1%-5%). EBRT+BT was associated with significantly lower prostate cancer-specific mortality than either RP or EBRT (cause-specific HRs of 0.38 [95% CI, 0.21-0.68] and 0.41 [95% CI, 0.24-0.71]). Adjusted 5-year incidence rates of distant metastasis were RP, 24% (95% CI, 19%-30%); EBRT, 24% (95% CI, 20%-28%); and EBRT+BT, 8% (95% CI, 5%-11%). EBRT+BT was associated with a significantly lower rate of distant metastasis (propensity-score-adjusted cause-specific HRs of 0.27 [95% CI, 0.17-0.43] for RP and 0.30 [95% CI, 0.19-0.47] for EBRT). Adjusted 7.5-year all-cause mortality rates were RP, 17% (95% CI, 11%-23%); EBRT, 18% (95% CI, 14%-24%); and EBRT+BT, 10% (95% CI, 7%-13%). Within the first 7.5 years of follow-up, EBRT+BT was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality (cause-specific HRs of 0.66 [95% CI, 0.46-0.96] for RP and 0.61 [95% CI, 0.45-0.84] for EBRT). After the first 7.5 years, the corresponding HRs were 1.16 (95% CI, 0.70-1.92) and 0.87 (95% CI, 0.57-1.32). No significant differences in prostate cancer-specific mortality, distant metastasis, or all-cause mortality (≤7.5 and >7.5 years) were found between men treated with EBRT or RP (cause-specific HRs of 0.92 [95% CI, 0.67-1.26], 0.90 [95% CI, 0.70-1.14], 1.07 [95% CI, 0.80-1.44], and 1.34 [95% CI, 0.85-2.11]).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with Gleason score 9-10 prostate cancer, treatment with EBRT+BT with androgen deprivation therapy was associated with significantly better prostate cancer-specific mortality and longer time to distant metastasis compared with EBRT with androgen deprivation therapy or with RP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.0587DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885899PMC
March 2018

Genetic Variants Related to Longer Telomere Length are Associated with Increased Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Eur Urol 2017 11 7;72(5):747-754. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MS, USA.

Background: Relative telomere length in peripheral blood leukocytes has been evaluated as a potential biomarker for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) risk in several studies, with conflicting findings.

Objective: We performed an analysis of genetic variants associated with leukocyte telomere length to assess the relationship between telomere length and RCC risk using Mendelian randomization, an approach unaffected by biases from temporal variability and reverse causation that might have affected earlier investigations.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Genotypes from nine telomere length-associated variants for 10 784 cases and 20 406 cancer-free controls from six genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of RCC were aggregated into a weighted genetic risk score (GRS) predictive of leukocyte telomere length.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Odds ratios (ORs) relating the GRS and RCC risk were computed in individual GWAS datasets and combined by meta-analysis.

Results And Limitations: Longer genetically inferred telomere length was associated with an increased risk of RCC (OR=2.07 per predicted kilobase increase, 95% confidence interval [CI]:=1.70-2.53, p<0.0001). As a sensitivity analysis, we excluded two telomere length variants in linkage disequilibrium (R>0.5) with GWAS-identified RCC risk variants (rs10936599 and rs9420907) from the telomere length GRS; despite this exclusion, a statistically significant association between the GRS and RCC risk persisted (OR=1.73, 95% CI=1.36-2.21, p<0.0001). Exploratory analyses for individual histologic subtypes suggested comparable associations with the telomere length GRS for clear cell (N=5573, OR=1.93, 95% CI=1.50-2.49, p<0.0001), papillary (N=573, OR=1.96, 95% CI=1.01-3.81, p=0.046), and chromophobe RCC (N=203, OR=2.37, 95% CI=0.78-7.17, p=0.13).

Conclusions: Our investigation adds to the growing body of evidence indicating some aspect of longer telomere length is important for RCC risk.

Patient Summary: Telomeres are segments of DNA at chromosome ends that maintain chromosomal stability. Our study investigated the relationship between genetic variants associated with telomere length and renal cell carcinoma risk. We found evidence suggesting individuals with inherited predisposition to longer telomere length are at increased risk of developing renal cell carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2017.07.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641242PMC
November 2017

Pharmacogenomic Markers of Targeted Therapy Toxicity in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Eur Urol Focus 2016 Dec 23;2(6):633-639. Epub 2016 Apr 23.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Targeted therapy (TT) in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) may be associated with a high rate of toxicity that undermines treatment efficacy and patient quality of life. Polymorphisms in genes involved in the pharmacokinetic pathways of TTs may predict toxicity.

Objective: To investigate whether selected single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in three core genes involved in the metabolism and transport of sunitinib and the mTOR inhibitors everolimus and temsirolimus are associated with adverse events (AEs).

Design, Setting, And Participants: Germline DNA was extracted from blood or normal kidney tissue from mRCC patients of Caucasian ethnicity in two cohorts treated with either sunitinib (n=159) or mTOR inhibitors (n=62). Six SNPs in three candidate genes (CYP3A4: rs2242480, rs4646437, and rs2246709; CYP3A5: rs15524; and ABCB1: rs2032582 and rs1045642) were analyzed.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Primary endpoints were grade ≥3 AEs for all patients; grade ≥3 hypertension in the sunitinib cohort, and any grade pneumonitis in the mTOR inhibitors cohort. A logistic regression model was used to assess the association between SNPs and AEs, with adjustment for relevant clinical factors.

Results And Limitations: In total, 221 samples were successfully genotyped for the selected SNPs. In the sunitinib cohort, the CYP3A4 rs464637 AG variant was associated with a lower risk of high-grade AEs (odds ratio 0.27, 95% confidence interval 0.08-0.88; p=0.03), but no SNPs were associated with hypertension. In the mTOR inhibitor cohort, none of the selected SNPs was associated with analyzed toxicities.

Conclusions: We observed an association between CYP3A4 polymorphisms and toxicity outcomes in mRCC patients treated with sunitinib, but not with everolimus or temsirolimus. Our findings are exploratory in nature, and further validation in independent and larger cohorts is needed.

Patient Summary: We found that variants of CYP3A4, a gene involved in drug metabolism, are associated with sunitinib toxicity. This information may help in better selection of patients for targeted therapies in metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euf.2016.03.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5520643PMC
December 2016

The association between germline BRCA2 variants and sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy among men with metastatic prostate cancer.

Cancer 2017 Sep 13;123(18):3532-3539. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Breast cancer 2 (BRCA2)-associated breast and ovarian cancers are sensitive to platinum-based chemotherapy. It is unknown whether BRCA2-associated prostate cancer responds favorably to such treatment.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of a single-institution cohort of men with castration-resistant, metastatic prostate cancer was performed to determine the association between carrier status of pathogenic BRCA2 germline variants and prostate-specific antigen response to carboplatin-based chemotherapy. From 2001 through 2015, 8081 adult men with prostate cancer who had a consultation and/or underwent treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute provided blood samples and consented to analyses of biologic material and clinical records. A subgroup of 141 men received at least 2 doses of carboplatin and docetaxel for castration-resistant disease (94% were also taxane refractory). These patients were categorized according to the absence or presence of pathogenic germline mutations in BRCA2 based on DNA sequencing from whole blood. The primary outcome was the response rate to carboplatin/docetaxel chemotherapy, defined according to a decline in prostate-specific antigen that exceeded 50% within 12 weeks of initiating this regimen. Associations between BRCA2 mutation status and response to carboplatin-based chemotherapy were tested using the Fisher exact test, with a 2-sided P value < .05 as the threshold for significance.

Results: Pathogenic germline BRCA2 variants were observed in 8 of 141 men (5.7%; 95% confidence interval, 2.5%-10.9%). Six of 8 BRCA2 carriers (75%) experienced prostate-specific antigen declines >50% within 12 weeks, compared with 23 of 133 noncarriers (17%; absolute difference, 58%; 95% confidence interval, 27%-88%; P < .001). Prostate cancer cell lines functionally corroborated these clinical findings.

Conclusions: BRCA2-associated, castration-resistant prostate cancer is associated with a higher likelihood of response to carboplatin-based chemotherapy than non-BRCA2-associated prostate cancer. Cancer 2017;123:3532-9. © 2017 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30808DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5802871PMC
September 2017

Genome-wide association study identifies multiple risk loci for renal cell carcinoma.

Nat Commun 2017 06 9;8:15724. Epub 2017 Jun 9.

Clinical Center of Serbia (KCS), Clinic of Urology, University of Belgrade-Faculty of Medicine, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.

Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified six risk loci for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of two new scans of 5,198 cases and 7,331 controls together with four existing scans, totalling 10,784 cases and 20,406 controls of European ancestry. Twenty-four loci were tested in an additional 3,182 cases and 6,301 controls. We confirm the six known RCC risk loci and identify seven new loci at 1p32.3 (rs4381241, P=3.1 × 10), 3p22.1 (rs67311347, P=2.5 × 10), 3q26.2 (rs10936602, P=8.8 × 10), 8p21.3 (rs2241261, P=5.8 × 10), 10q24.33-q25.1 (rs11813268, P=3.9 × 10), 11q22.3 (rs74911261, P=2.1 × 10) and 14q24.2 (rs4903064, P=2.2 × 10). Expression quantitative trait analyses suggest plausible candidate genes at these regions that may contribute to RCC susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5472706PMC
June 2017

Duration of Androgen Deprivation Therapy for High-Risk Prostate Cancer: Application of Randomized Trial Data in a Tertiary Referral Cancer Center.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2016 08 17;14(4):e299-305. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Electronic address:

Introduction: We evaluated the incidence and predictors of the use of long-term (2-3 years) versus shorter term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in radiation-managed men with high-risk prostate cancer.

Patients And Methods: We identified 302 patients from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute patient registry who had been diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer (T3a or prostate-specific antigen [PSA] > 20 ng/mL or Gleason score 8-10) from 1993 to 2015. We assessed the intended duration of ADT and used multivariable Cox regression to evaluate the predictors of receiving a shorter course of ADT than recommended by the guidelines (< 2 years).

Results: The course of ADT intended by physicians increased after the 2008/2009 publication of trials showing the superiority of long-term versus short-term ADT, with 43.5% intending ≥ 2 years before versus 61.4% after (P = .014). Starting in 2010, 49.4% of patients actually received < 2 years of ADT. The most common reasons for receipt of shorter course ADT were intolerance of ADT side effects, patient comorbidity/age, the presence of T3a on magnetic resonance imaging only as the sole high-risk feature, or participation in a clinical trial. Moderate to severe comorbidity assessed using the Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27 (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] = 2.94), Gleason score < 8 (AHR = 5.66), and PSA < 20 ng/mL (AHR = 4.19) all predicted for receipt of shorter course ADT (P < .05 for all).

Conclusion: In a tertiary-care setting, the rates of long-course ADT for high-risk disease have increased since the 2008/2009 trials supporting its use. However, approximately one half of patients continued to receive shorter course ADT, often because of intolerance of side effects, underlying comorbidity, or physician judgment about the aggressiveness of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2015.12.008DOI Listing
August 2016

Association of SLCO2B1 Genotypes With Time to Progression and Overall Survival in Patients Receiving Androgen-Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2016 Feb 14;34(4):352-9. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

All authors: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.

Purpose: To validate the association of three previously demonstrated SLCO2B1 germline variants with time to progression (TTP) in patients receiving androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), and to evaluate if the SLCO2B1 genetic variants impacted overall survival (OS) for prostate cancer (PC).

Patients And Methods: Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), exonic SNP rs12422149 and intronic SNPs rs1789693 and rs1077858, were genotyped in an independent validation cohort of 616 patients with PC who were treated with ADT at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute from 1996 to 2013. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression adjusting for known prognostic factors estimated the association of these genetic variants with TTP and OS in patients receiving ADT. The expression of SLCO2B1 was examined in prostatectomy samples, and the impact of SLCO2B1 expression level on DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) uptake was evaluated in cell lines.

Results: The association between exonic SNP rs12422149 and TTP in patients treated with ADT was confirmed in univariable (P = .019) and multivariable analyses (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.72 for GG v AA/AG; P = .049). Because OS had not been previously evaluated, we examined the association in the combined initial and validation cohorts (N = 1,094). The intronic SNP rs1077858 was associated with OS in both univariable (P = .009; Bonferroni's method adjusted P = .027) and multivariable analyses (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.71 for GG v AA/AG; P = .012). SLCO2B1 expression in normal prostate tissue and in 22RV1 cells carrying the major allele of SNP rs1077858 was significantly lower than in cells carrying the risk allele. We show in vitro that SLCO2B1 expression levels correlated with DHEAS uptake by PC cells.

Conclusion: The association of SNP rs1077858 with OS may be a result of differential SLCO2B1 expression and the consequent increased uptake of DHEAS and subsequent resistance to ADT, which, in turn, may contribute to decreased OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2015.62.5988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4872031PMC
February 2016

The androgen receptor cistrome is extensively reprogrammed in human prostate tumorigenesis.

Nat Genet 2015 Nov 12;47(11):1346-51. Epub 2015 Oct 12.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Master transcription factors interact with DNA to establish cell type identity and to regulate gene expression in mammalian cells. The genome-wide map of these transcription factor binding sites has been termed the cistrome. Here we show that the androgen receptor (AR) cistrome undergoes extensive reprogramming during prostate epithelial transformation in man. Using human prostate tissue, we observed a core set of AR binding sites that are consistently reprogrammed in tumors. FOXA1 and HOXB13 colocalized at the reprogrammed AR binding sites in human tumor tissue. Introduction of FOXA1 and HOXB13 into an immortalized prostate cell line reprogrammed the AR cistrome to resemble that of a prostate tumor, functionally linking these specific factors to AR cistrome reprogramming. These findings offer mechanistic insights into a key set of events that drive normal prostate epithelium toward transformation and establish the centrality of epigenetic reprogramming in human prostate tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3419DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707683PMC
November 2015

Association between very small tumour size and increased cancer-specific mortality after radical prostatectomy in lymph node-positive prostate cancer.

BJU Int 2016 Aug 31;118(2):279-85. Epub 2015 Aug 31.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Objective: To determine whether very small prostate cancers present in patients who also have lymph node (LN) metastases represent a particularly aggressive disease variant compared with larger LN-positive tumours.

Patients And Methods: We identified 37 501 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1988 and 2001 treated with radical prostatectomy within the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. The primary study variables were tumour size by largest dimension (stratified into: (i) microscopic focus only or 1 mm; (ii) 2-15 mm; (iii) 16-30 mm; (iv) >30 mm), regional LN involvement, and the corresponding interaction term. We evaluated the risk of 10-year prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) using the Fine and Gray model for competing risks after controlling for race, tumour grade, T stage, receipt of radiation, number of dissected LNs, number of positive LNs, year of diagnosis, and age at diagnosis.

Results: The median follow-up was 11.8 years. There was a significant interaction between tumour size and LN involvement (P-interaction <0.001). In the absence of LN involvement (36 561 patients), the risk of 10-year PCSM increased monotonically with increasing tumour size. Among patients with LN involvement (940), those with the smallest tumours had increased 10-year PCSM compared with patients with tumours sized 2-15 mm (24.7% vs 11.8%; adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 2.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21-6.71; P = 0.017) or 16-30 mm (24.7% vs 15.5%; AHR 3.12, 95% CI 1.51-6.49; P = 0.002), and similar 10-year PCSM as those with tumours >30 mm (24.7% vs 24.9%; P = 0.156).

Conclusion: In patients with prostate cancer with LN involvement, very small tumour size may predict for higher PCSM compared with some larger tumours, even after controlling for other prognostic variables. These tumours might be particularly aggressive, beyond what is captured by pathological assessment of tumour grade and stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.13248DOI Listing
August 2016

Sequencing current therapies in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

Cancer Treat Rev 2015 Apr 4;41(4):332-40. Epub 2015 Mar 4.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

The standard treatment for metastatic prostate cancer is androgen deprivation therapy. However, progressive, metastatic disease usually develops, giving rise to metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Great improvements have been made recently in the management of mCRPC, with current approved treatments including chemotherapy, androgen receptor-targeted agents, immunotherapies and radiopharmaceuticals. While the emergence of multiple effective therapies is encouraging, devising a treatment strategy can be difficult and it is becoming increasingly important, and challenging, to identify factors that influence the ideal timing of specific therapies. Considering where to place these agents in the treatment schedule of mCRPC, or whether these agents should be sequenced or combined to derive the optimal benefit for the patient, is not yet clear. Furthermore, cross-resistance may exist between these agents, which may ultimately influence treatment decisions and sequence choices. Preliminary data are emerging regarding the safety and activity for sequential treatment regimens, but there are currently no prospective studies. As prostate cancer is highly heterogeneous clinically, it is likely that no single treatment sequence will be optimal for all patients. However, at present, there are no validated biomarkers to guide individualized treatment for mCRPC. Here we review available data for the different mCRPC treatments, discussing potential sequencing of agents and possible cross-resistance or synergy among the recently approved and emerging therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2015.02.010DOI Listing
April 2015
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