In a continuing study of our clinical candidate 5 VN/124-1 (TOK-001) and analogs as potential agents for prostate cancer therapy, putative metabolites (10, 15 and 18) of compound 5 were rationally designed and synthesized. However, none of these agents were as efficacious as 5 in several in vitro studies. Using western blot analysis, we have generated a preliminary structure-activity relationship (SAR) of 5 and related analogs as androgen receptor ablative agents (ARAAs). In vivo using the androgen-dependent LAPC-4 prostate cancer xenograft model, we demonstrated for the first time that 5 is more efficacious than the 17-lyase inhibitor 3 (abiraterone)/4 (abiraterone acetate) that is currently in phase III clinical trials. In our desire to optimize the potency of 5, compounds 6 (3ξ-fluoro-) and 9 (3β-sulfamate-) designed to increase the stability and oral bioavailability of 5, respectively were evaluated in vivo. We showed, that on equimolar basis, compound 6 was ∼2-fold more efficacious versus LAPC-4 xenografts than 5, but the toxicity observed with 6 is of concern. These studies further demonstrate the efficacy of 5 in a clinically relevant prostate cancer model and justify its current clinical development as a potential treatment of prostate cancer.
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