Canadian Cancer Society (CCS)
Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF)
ZonMw (Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development)
ARTICLE ABSTRACTAndrogen receptor pathway inhibitors (ARPI) are standard of care for treatment-naïve metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), but rapid resistance is common. Early identification of resistance will improve management strategies. We investigated whether changes in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) fraction during ARPI treatment are linked with mCRPC clinical outcomes.
Plasma cell-free DNA was collected from 81 patients with mCRPC at baseline and after 4 weeks of first-line ARPI treatment during two prospective multicenter observational studies (NCT02426333; NCT02471469). ctDNA fraction was calculated from somatic mutations in targeted sequencing and genome copy-number profiles. Samples were classified into detected versus undetected ctDNA. Outcome measurements were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Nondurable treatment response was defined as PFS ≤6 months.
ctDNA was detected in 48/81 (59%) baseline and 29/81 (36%) 4-week samples. ctDNA fraction for samples with detected ctDNA was lower at 4 weeks versus baseline (median 5.0% versus 14.5%, P = 0.017). PFS and OS were shortest for patients with persistent ctDNA at 4 weeks (univariate HR, 4.79; 95% CI, 2.62–8.77 and univariate HR, 5.49; 95% CI, 2.76–10.91, respectively), independent of clinical prognostic factors. For patients exhibiting change from detected to undetected ctDNA by 4 weeks, there was no significant PFS difference versus patients with baseline undetected ctDNA. ctDNA change had a positive predictive value of 88% and negative predictive value of 92% for identifying nondurable responses.
Early changes in ctDNA fraction are strongly linked to duration of first-line ARPI treatment benefit and survival in mCRPC and may inform early therapy switches or treatment intensification.See related commentary by Sartor, p. 2745