Copy number for AR-FL, AR-V7 and ARv567es for the evaluable population at baseline AR, androgen receptor; FL, full length.
ARTICLE ABSTRACTBiomarkers aiding treatment optimization in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) are scarce. The presence or absence of androgen receptor (AR) splice variants, AR-V7 and ARv567es, in mCRPC patient circulating tumor cells (CTC) may be associated with taxane treatment outcomes.Experimental Design: A novel digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) assay assessed AR-splice variant expression in CTCs from patients receiving docetaxel or cabazitaxel in TAXYNERGY (NCT01718353). Patient outcomes were examined according to AR-splice variant expression, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA)50 response and progression-free survival (PFS).
Of the 54 evaluable patients, 36 (67%) were AR-V7+, 42 (78%) were ARv567es+, 29 (54%) were double positive, and 5 (9%) were double negative. PSA50 response rates at any time were numerically higher for AR-V7− versus AR-V7+ (78% vs. 58%; P = 0.23) and for ARv567es− versus ARv567es+ (92% vs. 57%; P = 0.04) patients. When AR-V mRNA status was correlated with change in nuclear AR from cycle 1 day 1 to day 8 (n = 24), AR-V7+ patients (n = 16) had a 0.4% decrease versus a 12.9% and 26.7% decrease in AR-V7−/ARv567es− (n = 3) and AR-V7−/ARv567es+ (n = 5) patients, respectively, suggesting a dominant role for AR-V7 over ARv567es. Median PFS was 12.02 versus 8.48 months for AR-V7− versus AR-V7+ (HR = 0.38; P = 0.01), and 12.71 versus 7.29 months for ARv567es− versus ARv567es+ (HR = 0.37; P = 0.02). For AR-V7+, AR-V7−/ARv567es+, and AR-V7−/ARv567es− patients, median PFS was 8.48, 11.17, and 16.62 months, respectively (P = 0.0013 for trend).
Although detection of both CTC-specific AR-V7 and ARv567es by ddPCR influenced taxane outcomes, AR-V7 primarily mediated the prognostic impact. The absence of both variants was associated with the best response and PFS with taxane treatment.See related commentary by Dehm et al., p. 1696