ASCO 2014 — Takeaways for Prostate Cancer Patients


Every year, thousands of people gather for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting took place in Chicago, Illinois. Here are some of the most notable new developments in prostate cancer treatment presented at ASCO 2014: Continue reading…


Takeda Announces Termination of Orteronel (TAK-700) Development for Prostate Cancer in Japan, U.S.A. and Europe

“Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced today that it has voluntarily decided to end the development program for orteronel (TAK-700) for prostate cancer. The decision follows the results of two Phase 3 clinical trials in metastatic, castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The studies found while orteronel plus prednisone could extend the time patients lived before their cancer progressed, it did not extend overall survival in these patients. After careful consideration of the data from these trials, the company has determined that the drug has not demonstrated a clinical profile sufficient to move forward in mCRPC, given the availability of other therapies.”

Editor’s note: Orteronel is a drug that showed some promise in for treating metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). However, the manufacturers of the drug found that it was not good enough compared to other treatments, and they have decided to stop developing it. We recently posted a news story in which orteronel showed mixed results as a treatment for mCRPC.


Early Trial of Cabozantinib and Abiraterone Shows Promise in Prostate Cancer

“A phase I trial that combined the investigational therapy cabozantinib with the already approved abiraterone acetate in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients shows that the two agents are tolerable, with the potential for improved efficacy.

“Christopher Sweeney, MBBS, medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, presented the results (abstract #5027) at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, held May 30–June 3 in Chicago.”

Editor’s note: A clinical trial to test a new treatment on volunteer patients found that a combination of the drugs cabozantinib and abiraterone acetate may be beneficial for treating metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), but further testing is needed.


ASCO: Drug Combo Highly Active in Metastatic CRPC

“A small cohort of men with untreated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) had a PSA response rate of 86% with the combination of docetaxel and abiraterone (Zytiga), investigators reported here.

“All but three of 21 evaluable patients had at least a 50% decrease in PSA levels with the combination, including 14 patients who had PSA responses ≥90%.

“Among 10 patients who could be assessed for response of measurable disease, six had partial responses, Scott Tagawa, MD, of Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues reported at a poster highlights session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.”

Editor’s note: Prostate cancer patients who are treated with hormone therapy may become resistant to it and develop metastatic “castration-resistant prostate cancer” (CRPC). There is a lot of research being done to figure out good treatment strategies for these patients. The research described in this article shows promise for a treatment that combines the drugs docetaxel and abiraterone (brand name Zytiga). To learn more about new prospects for CRPC treatment, see our blog feature on the topic.


ASCO: Combo Hormone Tx Promising in Prostate Cancer

“A combination attack on androgens in metastatic prostate cancer resistant to initial hormone therapy drove down testosterone levels and appeared safe, according to a proof of concept study.

“Enzalutamide (Xtandi) plus abiraterone (Zytiga) dropped blood and bone marrow androgens down to undetectable levels for 80% of such patients, reported Eleni Efstathiou, MD, PhD, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Editor’s note: This article discusses a treatment that may benefit men with metastatic prostate cancer that has become resistant to hormonal therapy (a condition known as castration-resistant prostate cancer or CRPC). The treatment, which combines the drugs enzalutamide (Xtandi) and abiraterone (Zytiga), was tested in a study with volunteer patients. The treatment appeared safe and also lowered testosterone levels—a promising sign that indicates potential cancer-fighting power. More studies will have to be done to determine just how well the treatment might work.


Orteronel Delays Disease Progression in Advanced Prostate Cancer

“Orteronel, an investigational oral therapy for prostate cancer, improved progression-free survival, but did not significantly improve overall survival in patients with chemotherapy-naive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The median overall survival of patients treated with orteronel plus the corticosteroid prednisone was 31.4 months compared with 29.5 months for patients treated with prednisone alone (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.9, P = .314).”

Editor’s note: A clinical trial testing a new prostate cancer drug called orteronel in volunteer patients found mixed results. Patients in the trial were treated with either orteronel plus the drug prednisone, or for comparison, prednisone alone. Patients who took orteronel had more time before their cancer worsened, but they did not live longer than patients who took only prednisone. All patients in the trial had metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, and none had previously been treated with chemotherapy.


Site of Visceral Metastases Can Dictate Prognosis in Prostate Cancer

“A pooled analysis of five phase III clinical trials suggests that the site of a metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patient’s metastases can predict overall survival following treatment with docetaxel. CRPC patients with liver metastases had the worst overall survival—a median of 12.1 months. Those patients with lung metastases fared slightly better with a median overall survival of 16.5 months. Patients with bone metastases, but no visceral metastases had relatively better outcomes—a median overall survival of 20.3 months.”


Radium Ra 223 Dichloride Safe, Effective for Prostate Cancer Bone Metastases

“Radium Ra 223 dichloride reduced the time to a first symptomatic skeletal event compared with placebo in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and symptomatic bone metastases, according to results of a randomized, double blind, phase 3 study.

“Researchers also determined radium Ra 223 dichloride (Xofigo, Bayer HealthCare) decreased use of external beam radiation therapy for bone pain and also decreased the need for spinal cord compression.

“The trial included 921 patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and bone metastases.

Editor’s note: Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Xofigo for treating men with late-stage prostate cancer with bone metastases. (Read about the FDA-approval in a previous news story.) In this study, researchers found further benefit for the drug in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and symptomatic bone metastases.


OncoBriefs: Delayed Tx for Prostate Ca, New Antiandrogen

“Prostate cancer mortality has declined by more than 60% compared with historical data for a cohort of conservatively managed patients followed for more than 20 years, a retrospective analysis showed.

“The findings will be reported in detail at the 50th anniversary meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which begins here May 30. Other ASCO-related prostate cancer data included in this edition of OncoBriefs come from studies of physical activity to counteract adverse effects of androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) and preliminary clinical results from a trial of an investigational second-generation androgen inhibitor.”

Editor’s note: This article gives a good overview of some important prostate cancer news that will be discussed this weekend at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. In addition to lower mortality and the benefits of physical activity for men treated with ADT, the article discusses promising results for a drug called ARN-509, which may benefit patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.