Background: Angiogenesis is fundamental to the progression of many solid tumours including prostate cancer. Sodium selenate is a small, water-soluble, orally bioavailable activator of PP2A phosphatase with anti-angiogenic properties.
Methods: This was a dose-escalation phase I study in men with asymptomatic, chemotherapy-naïve, castration-resistant prostate cancer. The primary objective was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). Secondary objectives included establishing the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile.
Results: A total of 19 patients were enrolled. The MTD was 60 mg per day. Dose-limiting toxicity (fatigue and diarrhoea) was observed at 90 mg per day. The most frequently reported treatment-related adverse events across all treatment cohorts were nausea, diarrhoea, fatigue, muscle spasms, alopecia and nail disorders. No grade 4 toxicities were observed and there were no deaths on study. Linear pharmacokinetics was observed. One patient had a PSA response >50%. Median time to PSA progression (for non-responders) was 14.2 weeks. Mean PSA doubling time increased during the main treatment phase from 2.18 months before trial to 3.85 months.
Conclusion: Sodium selenate is well tolerated at a dose of 60 mg per day with modest single-agent efficacy similar to other anti-angiogenic agents. Further trials in combination with conventional cytotoxic regimens are warranted.