Expert Says Xofigo Is "Game Changer" for Bone Metastatic CRPC


“Radium-223 dichloride (Xofigo) opened an entirely new chapter in the treatment landscape of castration-resistant prostate cancer with bone metastases (mCRPC), says E. David Crawford, MD, professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Surgery, at the University of Colorado Denver.

“ ‘Radium-223 is sort of a surprise drug, at least to me,’ says Crawford. “We have had radioisotopes around for a long period of time, including phosphorus-32, samarium-153 (Quadramet), strontium-89 (Metastron), and others. But, they all had a lot of baggage with them, in terms of side effects.

” ‘Now, we have a new one—radium-223—which is not associated with the side effects that we were seeing with the other ones, but it is associated with an improvement in survival rate. It’s a game changer.’ ”

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Janssen's Zytiga Boosts Survival in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer

“Janssen has announced data from a post-hoc analysis of a Phase III trial showing that Zytiga plus prednisone boosted overall survival (OS) by 11.8 months compared with placebo plus prednisone, in men with early and less aggressive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who had not received chemotherapy.

“Data presented today at the European Association of Urology (EAU) 2016 Congress in Munich, Germany, demonstrated that in the COU-AA-302 trial, Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) increased OS to 53.6 months versus the 41.8 months achieved by patients treated with prednisone alone. This benefit was shown to be 4.4 greater than that previously reported for the combo in the final analysis of the COU-AA-302 trial in 2014.

“The post-hoc analysis divided patients into two groups to identify which group experienced a greater treatment benefit. The patients in group 1 were in an earlier, less advanced and less symptomatic stage of the disease, while those in group 2 were in a later, more advanced and more symptomatic stage of the disease.”

Radium-223 Improves QoL Over Placebo in CRPC

“Analyses from the phase III ALSYMPCA trial showed that treatment with the alpha-emitting radiopharmaceutical radium-223 resulted in quality-of-life (QoL) improvements over placebo in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and symptomatic bone metastases.

“ ‘Patients with CRPC and bone metastases often present with symptoms such as pain fatigue, anorexia, and, rarely, spinal cord compression, contributing to rapid and significant deterioration in health-related QoL and mortality,’ wrote study authors led by Sten Nilsson, MD, PhD, of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.

“The ALSYMPCA trial found that radium-223 prolonged overall survival (OS) as well as time to first symptomatic skeletal event by significant periods. The trial included prospective QoL measurements using the EuroQoL EQ-5D and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Prostate (FACT-P). The results from these tests were published online ahead of print in Annals of Oncology.”

Precision Medicine on the Horizon for Prostate Cancer

“While still in its early stages, integrative genomic testing could be the future for personalizing therapy for patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), according to Tomasz M. Beer, MD, FACP.

“In an interview with Targeted Oncology, Beer, deputy director, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, explained that understanding the genetic makeup of CRPC could lead to new treatments, both single-agents and combinations. One of the most recent examples was the discovery of BRCA genetic mutations within CRPC, he said. While BRCA mutations are mostly associated with breast and ovarian cancers, this discovery could provide a new avenue for treating men with CRPC.

“In the interview, Beer discussed the current state of genetic testing for prostate cancer and changes on the horizon that are currently being explored in clinical trials.”

Abituzumab Improves Bone Lesion Progression, not PFS in CRPC

“Abituzumab did not extend progression-free survival (PFS) compared with placebo in a phase II study of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The agent did, however, offer a lower incidence of bone lesion progression, and researchers say it still warrants further investigation.

“Previous research has suggested that integrins play a role in the progression of metastatic prostate cancer and associated bone lesions, wrote researchers led by Maha Hussain, MB, ChB, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Abituzumab is a pan-αv integrin inhibitor; a phase I trial previously showed that the agent has activity in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and bone metastases.

“The new phase II trial randomized 180 patients between three arms: a 750-mg abituzumab group, a 1,500-mg abituzumab group, or placebo. All groups also received standard of care. The results were published in Clinical Cancer Research.”

Enzalutamide Superior to Bicalutamide for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

“The oral androgen receptor inhibitor enzalutamide significantly reduced the risk for prostate cancer progression or death compared with bicalutamide in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, according to findings from the STRIVE trial.

“Enzalutamide (Xtandi, Astellas) has been found to improve survival in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer prior to and following chemotherapy. It binds the androgen receptor in the same way as bicalutamide does, but with greater affinity, according to researchers.

“Since bicalutamide is the standard treatment for this population of patients, researchers conducted this phase 2 trial to compare the two treatments.”

FDA Grants Olaparib Breakthrough Designation in mCRPC

“Olaparib (Lynparza) has received an FDA breakthrough therapy designation as a treatment for patients with BRCA1/2 or ATM-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) in those who have received a prior taxane-based chemotherapy and at least either hormonal agent enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone acetate (Zytiga).

“The designation, which will accelerate the development and review of the first-in-class oral PARP inhibitor, is based on data from the phase II TOPARP-A trial that demonstrated that olaparib monotherapy had an overall response rate (ORR) of nearly 90% in a biomarker-defined subgroup of patients who had DNA-repair defects.

Radium-223 Benefits Survival, Not Just for Palliative Care

“Despite what many believe, not all radiopharmaceuticals are just for pain palliation, says Phillip J. Koo, MD, a radiologist of Memorial Hospital and University of Colorado Hospital.

“The ALSYMPCA trial, which was the basis for the 2013 FDA approval of radium-223 dichloride (Xofigo) showed a median overall survival (OS) of 14 months with radium-223 versus 11.2 months with placebo (HR, 0.70; P = .00185) in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

“Despite the fact that it has been 3 years since the pivotal ALSYMPCA trial and the coinciding FDA approval, many oncologists still need to be educated regarding radium-223’s benefits, says Koo.”

Multiple Trials Explore Radium-223 Combinations for mCRPC

“Clinical trials are now assessing how to best use radium-223 (Xofigo) in combination with androgen inhibitors, following the rapid approval of several agents for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

“In the first of these studies, a phase III being conducted by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), single-agent enzalutamide (Xtandi) is being compared with radium-223 plus enzalutamide for men with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic bone metastatic CRPC (NCT02194842). Additionally, this same approach is being examined in a phase II study conducted by the All Ireland Cooperative Oncology Research Group (NCT02225704).”