Background: Perifosine is an oral alkylphospholipid that inhibits cancer cell growth through decreased Akt phosphorylation. We conducted a phase II trial of perifosine in patients with biochemically recurrent, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.
Patients and methods: Eligible patients had histologically confirmed prostate cancer, previous prostatectomy and/or radiation therapy, and rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) without radiographic evidence of metastasis. Previous androgen deprivation therapy < 9 months in duration (completed >or= 1 year before registration) was allowed. The primary endpoint was PSA response, defined as a decrease by >or= 50% from the pretreatment value. Treatment was composed of a loading dose of perifosine 900 mg orally on day 1, then 100 mg daily starting 24 hours later.
Results: Of 25 patients, 24 were evaluable for response. After a median follow-up of 8 months, 5 patients (20%) had a reduction in serum PSA levels, but none met criteria for PSA response. Three patients immediately progressed with no response to therapy. Median progression-free survival was 6.64 months (range, 4.53-12.81 months). No change in the PSA doubling time (7 months) was observed before and after treatment initiation. Dose-limiting toxicities (all grade 3) included hyponatremia, arthritis, hyperuricemia, and photophobia.
Conclusion: Although well tolerated, perifosine did not meet prespecified PSA criteria for response as a single agent in biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. However, 20% of patients had evidence of PSA reduction, suggesting modest single-agent clinical activity. The role of perifosine in combination with androgen deprivation or chemotherapy is currently under investigation.