Combination therapy with a second-generation androgen receptor antagonist and a metastasis vaccine improves survival in a spontaneous prostate cancer model

Andressa Ardiani, Benedetto Farsaci, Connie J Rogers, Andy Protter, Zhimin Guo, Thomas H King, David Apelian, James W Hodge
Clinical Cancer Research 2013 November 15, 19 (22): 6205-18

PURPOSE: Enzalutamide, a second-generation androgen antagonist, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) treatment. Immunotherapy has been shown to be a promising strategy for prostate cancer. This study was performed to provide data to support the combination of enzalutamide and immunotherapy for CRPC treatment.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Male C57BL/6 or TRAMP (transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate) prostate cancer model mice were exposed to enzalutamide and/or a therapeutic vaccine targeting Twist, an antigen involved in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastasis. The physiologic and immunologic effects of enzalutamide were characterized. The generation of Twist-specific immunity by Twist-vaccine was assessed. Finally, the combination of enzalutamide and Twist-vaccine to improve TRAMP mice overall survival was evaluated.

RESULTS: Enzalutamide mediated immunogenic modulation in TRAMP-C2 cells. In vivo, enzalutamide mediated reduced genitourinary tissue weight, enlargement of the thymus, and increased levels of T-cell excision circles. Because no changes were seen in T-cell function, as determined by CD4(+) T-cell proliferation and regulatory T cell (Treg) functional assays, enzalutamide was determined to be immune inert. Enzalutamide did not diminish the ability of Twist-vaccine to generate Twist-specific immunity. Twist was confirmed as a valid tumor antigen in TRAMP mice by immunohistochemistry. The combination of enzalutamide and Twist-vaccine resulted in significantly increased overall survival of TRAMP mice compared with other treatment groups (27.5 vs. 10.3 weeks). Notably, the effectiveness of the combination therapy increased with disease stage, i.e., the greatest survival benefit was seen in mice with advanced-stage prostate tumors.

CONCLUSIONS: These data support the combination of enzalutamide and immunotherapy as a promising treatment strategy for CRPC. Clin Cancer Res; 19(22); 6205-18. ©2013 AACR.

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