Androgen decline and survival during docetaxel therapy in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC)

From The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Genitourinary Committee

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8 Scopus citations


Background: Multiple androgens drive prostate cancer progression and higher pre-treatment levels of androgens, even within the castrate range, have been previously shown to be associated with an improved overall survival (OS) in mCRPC. Docetaxel impairs microtubules, has androgen receptor (AR) inhibitory effects and is used in both the castration resistant and sensitive settings, where androgen dynamics may impact outcome. The present analysis evaluates the association of decline in serum androgen levels (Testosterone (T), Androstenedione (A) and DHEA in docetaxel-treated mCRPC patients with OS. Methods: Data from 1050 men treated on CALGB 90401 with docetaxel, prednisone and either bevacizumab or placebo were evaluated. Eligibility required progressive mCRPC and no prior chemotherapy. Pre-treatment, 6 week and progression serum assays for T, A and DHEA were performed via tandem Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Changes in T, A and DHEA levels from baseline to 6 weeks were calculated as the ratio of 6-week over baseline. The proportional hazards model was used to assess the prognostic significance of changes in T, A, and DHEA from baseline to 6 weeks in predicting OS adjusting for known prognostic factors. Results: Median baseline values for T, A, and, DHEA were 1.0, 13.5, and 8.1 ng/dL respectively while 6 week levels were 0.64, 7.0, and 6.8 ng/dL respectively. Median OS for low testosterone decline is 20.9 months vs 26.3 months for high testosterone decline. In multivariable analysis including known prognostic variables, change in testosterone levels was independently associated with greater OS; the hazard ratio for death with each unit increase in the 6-week/baseline ratio is 1.02 (95% CI = 1.01–1.03, p = 0.001). Decline in A and DHEA were not significant predictors of OS. In multivariable analysis change in the serum changes did not predict PFS however the ratio of T at 6-weeks over baseline was prognostic of ≥50% decline in PSA with an odds ratio of 0.93 (95% CI = 0.85–0.98, p-value = 0.039). Conclusions: Declines in testosterone during docetaxel treatment is associated with a longer survival, consistent with a favorable prognostic significance of higher serum androgens in the CRPC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers U10CA180821, U10CA180882, U24CA196171 (to the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology), W81XWH-15-1-0467, P30 CA 008748 and R21 CA195424-01, and also in part by Genentech. The content is solely the responsibility of

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature America, Inc.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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