Background: The outcome to treatment administered to patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) greatly differs between individuals, underlining the need for biomarkers guiding treatment decision making. Objective: To investigate the prognostic value of circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration and dynamics, in the context of second-line endocrine therapies (ie, abiraterone acetate or enzalutamide), irrespective of prior systemic therapies. Design, Settings, and Participants: In a prospective, multicentre study blood samples for CTC enumeration were collected from patients with mCRPC at baseline (n=174). In patients who responded for minimally 10-12 weeks a follow-up sample was collected. Outcome Measurements and Statistical Analysis: For baseline analysis, patients were stratified in <5 or ≥5 CTCs/7.5mL, whereas for the analysis of CTC dynamics at 10-12 weeks, in patients with stable, increasing or decreasing CTC counts. Progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and PSA changes at 10-12 weeks were compared between groups. Results: Patients demonstrating increasing CTCs on therapy had a shorter median PFS (4.03 vs 12.98 vs 13.67 months, HR 3.6, 95%CI 1.9-6.8; P<0.0001) and OS (11.2 months vs not reached, HR 9.5, 95%CI 3.7-24; P<0.0001), compared to patients with decreasing or stable CTCs. Multivariable Cox regression showed that prior chemotherapy (HR 4.1, 95%CI 1.9-8.9; P=0.0003), a high baseline CTC count (HR 1.5, 95%CI 1.2-1.9; P=0.002) and increasing CTCs at follow-up (HR 3.3, 95%CI 1.4-7.6; P=0.005) were independent predictors of worse PFS. Previous chemotherapy (HR 7, 95%CI 1.9-25; P=0.003), high baseline CTC counts (HR 2.2, 95%CI 1.4-3.7; P=0.002) and increasing CTCs during therapy (HR 4.6, 95%CI 1.4-15; P=0.01) were independently associated with shorter OS. ≥30% and ≥50% PSA responses less frequently occurred in patients with CTC inclines at 10-12 weeks on therapy (χ2 test: P<0.01). Conclusions: CTC dynamics during therapy are associated with PSA response and provide independent clinical prognostication over PSA declines. Hence the study demonstrates the pharmacodynamic properties of CTCs.

Abiraterone, CellSearch, Circulating tumor cells, CRPC, Enzalutamide,
The Prostate
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

De Laere, B, Oeyen, S. (Steffi), Van Oyen, P. (Peter), Ghysel, C. (Christophe), Ampe, J. (Jozef), Ost, P, … Dirix, L.Y. (2018). Circulating tumor cells and survival in abiraterone- and enzalutamide-treated patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer. The Prostate. doi:10.1002/pros.23488