To test the hypothesis that modulation of Bcl-2 with 13-cis retinoic acid (CRA)/interferon-alpha2b (IFN) with paclitaxel (TAX), or mitoxantrone, estramustine and vinorelbine (MEV) will have clinical activity in men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). 19
70 patients were treated with either MEV (Arm A) in a 3-week cycle or CRA/IFN/TAX with an 8-week cycle (Arm B). Patients were assessed for response, toxicity, quality of life (QOL), and the effect of treatment on Bcl-2 levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).
The PSA response rates were 50% and 23%, measurable disease response rates (CR+PR) 14% and 15%, and median overall survival 19.4 months and 13.9 months on Arm A and Arm B respectively. Transient grade 4 neutropenia occurred in 18 and 2 patients, and grade 3 to 4 thrombosis in 7 patients and 1 patient in Arm A and Arm B respectively. Patients on Arm B reported a clinically significant decline in QOL between baseline and week 9/10 (.71 s.d.), and a significantly lower level of QOL than Arm A (p = 0.01). As hypothesized, Bcl-2 levels decreased with CRA/IFN therapy only in Arm B (p = 0.03).
Treatment with MEV was well tolerated and demonstrated clinical activity in patients with CRPC. Given the adverse effect of CRA/IFN/TAX on QOL, the study of other novel agents that target Bcl-2 family proteins is warranted. The feasibility of measuring Bcl-2 protein in a cooperative group setting is hypothesis generating and supports further study as a marker for Bcl-2 targeted therapy.
A randomized phase II trial of mitoxantrone, estramustine and vinorelbine or bcl-2 modulation with 13-cis retinoic acid, interferon and paclitaxel in patients with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer: ECOG3899