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Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Jan 1;25(1):52-63. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1589. Epub 2018 Sep 17.

Epigenetic Therapy with Panobinostat Combined with Bicalutamide Rechallenge in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer.

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Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai, New York, New York.
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Portland, Oregon.
Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky.



This study assesses the action of panobinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACI), in restoring sensitivity to bicalutamide in a castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) model and the efficacy and safety of the panobinostat/bicalutamide combination in CRPC patients resistant to second-line antiandrogen therapy (2ndLAARx).


The CWR22PC xenograft and isogenic cell line were tested for drug interactions on tumor cell growth and on the androgen receptor (AR), AR-splice variant7, and AR targets. A phase I trial had a 3 × 3 panobinostat dose-escalation design. The phase II study randomized 55 patients to panobinostat 40 mg (A arm) or 20 mg (B arm) triweekly ×2 weeks with bicalutamide 50 mg/day in 3-week cycles. The primary endpoint was to determine the percentage of radiographic progression-free (rPF) patients at 36 weeks versus historic high-dose bicalutamide.


In the model, panobinostat/bicalutamide demonstrated synergistic antitumor effect while reducing AR activity. The dose-limiting toxicity was not reached. The probability of remaining rPF exceeded protocol-specified 35% in the A arm and 47.5% and 38.5% in the B arm. The probabilities of remaining rPF were 47.5% in the A arm and 38.5% in the B arm, exceeding the protocol-specified threshold of 35%. A arm/B arm: adverse events (AE), 62%/19%; treatment stopped for AEs, 27.5%/11.5%; dose reduction required, 41%/4%; principal A-arm grade ≥3 AEs, thrombocytopenia (31%) and fatigue (14%).


The 40 mg panobinostat/bicalutamide regimen increased rPF survival in CRPC patients resistant to 2ndLAARx. Panobinostat toxicity was tolerable with dose reductions. Epigenetic HDACI therapy reduces AR-mediated resistance to bicalutamide in CRPC models with clinical benefit in patients. The combination merits validation using a second-generation antiandrogen.

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