Background: This study aimed to investigate copy number variations (CNVs) of CYP17A1 and androgen receptor (AR) genes in serum cell-free DNA collected before starting abiraterone in 53 consecutive patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Methods: Serum DNA was isolated and CNVs were analysed for AR and CYP17A1 genes using Taqman copy number assays. The association between CNVs and progression-free/overall survival (PFS/OS) was evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test.
Results: Median PFS of patients with AR gene gain was 2.8 vs 9.5 months of non-gained cases (P < 0.0001). Patients with CYP17A1 gene gain had a median PFS of 2.8 months vs 9.2 months in the non-gained patients (P = 0.0014). A lower OS was reported in both cases (AR: P < 0.0001; CYP17A1: P = 0.0085). Multivariate analysis revealed that PSA decline ⩾ 50%, AR and CYP17A1 CNVs were associated with shorter PFS (P < 0.0001, P = 0.0004 and P = 0.0450, respectively), while performance status, PSA decline ⩾ 50%, AR CNV and DNA concentration were associated with OS (P = 0.0021, P = 0.0014, P = 0.0026 and P = 0.0129, respectively).
Conclusions: CNVs of AR and CYP17A1 genes would appear to be associated with outcome of CRPC patients treated with abiraterone.