New treatment paradigm for prostate cancer: abarelix initiation therapy for immediate testosterone suppression followed by a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist.BJU Int. 2012 Aug; 110(4):499-504.BI
Study Type - Therapy (prospective cohort). Level of Evidence 2a. What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? The sequential administration of a GnRH antagonist followed by an LHRH agonist in the management of prostate cancer patients has not been studied, but such a program would provide a more physiologic method of achieving testosterone suppression and avoid the obligatory testosterone surge and need for concomitant antiandrogens that accompany LHRH agonist therapy. The current study which uses abarelix initiation therapy for 12 weeks followed by either leuprolide or goserelin demonstrates the ability to more rapidly achieve testosterone suppression, avoid the obligatory LHRH induced testosterone surge, avoid the necessity of antiandrogens, all of which were accomplished safely, without inducing either additional or novel safety issues.
• To demonstrate the safety and endocrinological and biochemical efficacy of initiating treatment with the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist, abarelix, followed by administration of an luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist in patients with advanced and metastatic prostate cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
• A multicentre, open-label design study was conducted at 22 centres in the US involving patients with: localized, locally advanced or metastatic disease; with a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) after definitive local treatment; patients undergoing neoadjuvant hormonal therapy before local therapy (radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy or cryosurgery); and patients in whom intermittent therapy was the planned treatment. • All patients received abarelix for 12 weeks followed by an LHRH agonist (either leuprolide or goserelin) for 8 weeks • The primary efficacy endpoint was achievement and maintenance of castration defined as testosterone <50 ng/dL from day 29 through to day 141 and whether abarelix initiation therapy could eliminate the testosterone surge after two consecutive doses of LHRH agonist therapy. • PSA, LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels were measured and adverse events were monitored.
• A total of 176 patients were enrolled into the present study, the majority of whom had localized prostate cancer (82%) and a PSA level <10 ng/mL (62%). • At the end of the abarelix treatment period (day 85), 93.8% of patients achieved castrate levels; during the first week of switch over to the LHRH agonist therapy (days 85-92) the rate was 86.5% and during the week after the second LHRH agonist injection (days 114-12) it was 93.3%. • A small, transient increase in testosterone occurred during the first injection of the LHRH agonist; mean (standard deviation [sd]) values increased from 17 (17.8) ng/dL at day 85 to 37.3 (51.07) ng/dL at day 86. • Mean (sd) PSA levels decreased from 20.5 (56.6) ng/mL at baseline to 3.7 (23.5) ng/mL on day 85 and remained stable throughout the LHRH agonist treatment phase. • Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 84% of patients overall; a similar incidence was reported during the two treatment phases.
• Abarelix initiation therapy results in the desired effect of achieving rapid testosterone suppression; testosterone surges after subsequent LHRH agonist therapy are greatly abrogated or completely eliminated. • This treatment paradigm (abarelix initiation followed by agonist maintenance) obviates the need for an antiandrogen. • Abarelix was well tolerated and no clinically meaningful or novel adverse events were observed during abarelix treatment or in the transition to LHRH agonist maintenance therapy.