Background: Intermittent androgen suppression (IAS) is an increasingly popular treatment option for castrate-sensitive prostate cancer. On the basis of previous data with anti-angiogenic strategies, we hypothesized that pan-inhibition of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor using pazopanib during the IAS off period would result in prolonged time to PSA failure.
Methods: Men with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer, whose PSA was <0.5 ng ml(-1) after 6 months of androgen deprivation therapy were randomized to pazopanib 800 mg daily or observation. The planned primary outcome was time to PSA progression >4.0 ng ml(-1).
Results: Thirty-seven patients were randomized. Of 18 patients randomized to pazopanib, at the time of study closure, 4 had progressive disease, 1 remained on treatment and 13 (72%) electively disenrolled, the most common reason being patient request due to grade 1/2 toxicity (8 patients). Two additional patients were removed from treatment due to adverse events. Of 19 patients randomized to observation, at the time of study closure, 4 had progressive disease, 7 remained under protocol-defined observation and 8 (42%) had disenrolled, most commonly due to non-compliance with protocol visits (3 patients). Because of high dropout rates in both arms, the study was halted.
Conclusions: IAS is a treatment approach that may facilitate investigation of novel agents in the hormone-sensitive state. This trial attempted to investigate the role of antiangiogenic therapy in this setting, but encountered several barriers, including toxicities and patient non-compliance, which can make implementation of such a study difficult. Future investigative efforts in this arena should carefully consider drug toxicity and employ a design that maximizes patient convenience to reduce the dropout rate.