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BJU Int. 2014 Dec;114(6b):E25-31. doi: 10.1111/bju.12589. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

Radiographic progression by Prostate Cancer Working Group (PCWG)-2 criteria as an intermediate endpoint for drug development in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL, USA.



To investigate the association of radiographic progression defined by Prostate Cancer Working Group (PCWG)-2 guidelines and overall survival (OS) in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).


Two trials that used PCWG-2 guidelines to define progression were analysed: a randomized phase II trial (n = 221) comparing first-line docetaxel-prednisone plus AT-101 or placebo, and a phase III trial (n = 873) comparing prednisone plus sunitinib or placebo after docetaxel-based chemotherapy. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the association of radiographic progression with OS. Landmark analyses compared progressing patients with those who had not progressed. Sub-analyses compared patients removed from trial for progression vs other reasons.


An increased risk of death was seen for radiographic progression at landmark times from 6 to 12 months with docetaxel-based therapy (hazard ratio [HR] >1.7 at all time-points). An increased risk of death was also seen with post-docetaxel prednisone alone or with sunitinib for progression at landmark times from 2 to 8 months (HR >2.7 at all time-points). Kendall's τ was 0.50 (P < 0.001) in the setting of docetaxel-based therapy and 0.34 (P < 0.001) in the post-docetaxel setting for association between radiographic progression and death amongst patients with both events. Removal from study due to radiographic progression was associated with a significantly lower OS compared with removal for other reasons in both trials. Limitations of a retrospective analysis apply and there was no central radiology review.


Radiographic progression by PCWG-2 criteria was significantly associated with OS in patients with mCRPC receiving first-line docetaxel-based chemotherapy or post-docetaxel therapy. With external validation as a surrogate endpoint in trials showing survival benefits, the use of radiographic progression-free survival may expedite drug development in mCRPC, which has been hampered by the lack of intermediate endpoints.

© 2013 The Authors. BJU International © 2013 BJU International.


Prostate Cancer Working Group (PCWG)-2; castration-resistant prostate cancer; metastatic; overall survival (OS); radiographic progression

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