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Long-term Survival and Biomarker Correlates of Tasquinimod Efficacy in a Multicenter Randomized Study of Men with Minimally Symptomatic Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

A.J. Armstrong, M. Häggman, W.M. Stadler, J.R. Gingrich, V. Assikis, J. Polikoff, J.E. Damber, L. Belkoff, Ö. Nordle, G. Forsberg, M.A. Carducci, and R. Pili

Clinical Cancer Research, Volume 19, Issue 24, 15 December 2013, Pages 6891-6901.

Editor's comments

In this randomized phase-II study Tasquinimod demonstrated superiority over placebo in mCRPC patients with bone metastases. Further evaluation of this anti-angiogenetic compound in CRPC patients is reasonable.

Abstract

Purpose

Tasquinimod (Active Biotech) is an oral immunomodulatory, anti-angiogenic, and antimetastatic agent that delayed metastatic disease progression in a randomized placebo-controlled phase II trial in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Here, we report long-term survival with biomarker correlates from this trial.

Experimental Design

Two hundred and one (134 tasquinimod and 67 placebo) men withmCRPCwere evaluated. Forty-one men randomized to placebo crossed over to tasquinimod. Survival data were collected with a median follow-up time of 37 months. Exploratory biomarker studies at baseline and over time were collected to evaluate potential mechanism-based correlates with tasquinimod efficacy including progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results

With 111 mortality events, median OS was 33.4 months for tasquinimod versus 30.4 months for placebo overall, and 34.2 versus 27.1 months in men with bone metastases (n = 136), respectively. Multivariable analysis demonstrated an adjusted HR of 0.52 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.35-0.78; P = 0.001] for PFS and 0.64 (95% CI, 0.42-0.97; P = 0.034) for OS, favoring tasquinimod. Time-tosymptomatic progression was improved with tasquinimod (P = 0.039, HR = 0.42). Toxicities tended to be mild in nature and improved over time. Biomarker analyses suggested a favorable impact on bone alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) over time and a transient induction of inflammatory biomarkers, VEGF-A, and thrombospondin-1 levels with tasquinimod. Baseline levels of thrombospondin-1 less than the median were predictive of treatment benefit.

Conclusions

The survival observed in this trial ofmen withminimally symptomaticm CRPC suggests that the prolongation in PFS with tasquinimodmay lead to a survival advantage in this setting, particularly among men with skeletalmetastases, and has a favorable risk:benefit ratio.

© 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.

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