A Pilot Study of Parenteral Testosterone and Oral Etoposide as Therapy for Men With Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer

2014-08-27 03:15:18 | BioPortfolio


The objective of the study is to determine if men with evidence of progressive prostate cancer while on chronic androgen ablation of ≥ 1 year duration will exhibit a clinical response following administration of parenteral testosterone and oral etoposide.

Treatment Plan: Eligible patients will continue on androgen ablative therapy with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist (i.e. Zoladex or Lupron) if not surgically castrated. Patients will receive intramuscular injection with testosterone cypionate at a dose of 400 mg every month for a total of 3 injections (i.e. 3 months of therapy). This dose was selected based on data demonstrating that it produces an initial supraphysiologic serum level of testosterone (i.e. > 3-5 times normal level) with eugonadal levels achieved at the end of two weeks. Beginning the day of the testosterone injection, patients will also receive oral etoposide 100 mg/day in divided doses (50 mg q 12h) x 14 days out of 28 days per cycle. After 3 months on therapy, patients will have repeat prostate specific antigen (PSA) and bone/computed tomography (CT) scans to establish the effect of combined testosterone and etoposide treatment on these parameters (i.e. "testosterone effect baseline"). Patients with sustained elevations in PSA ≥ 50% above pre-testosterone treatment PSA levels after the initial three months of testosterone and etoposide therapy will not receive continued therapy and will come off study. Patients with PSA levels less than the peak serum PSA level seen over the three month period (PSA decline) or patients with PSA ≤ 50% of pretreatment baseline will receive a second 3 month course of monthly testosterone and etoposide therapy until evidence of disease progression. Disease progression is defined as a PSA increase above the PSA level obtained after 3 months on testosterone treatment over two successive measurements 2 weeks apart or evidence of new lesions or progression on bone/CT scans compared to baseline studies.


Based on our preclinical data, high levels of androgens can lead to significant growth suppressive effects in prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic data in in vitro models suggests that this growth suppression may be due to the accumulation of androgen induced TOP2B mediated double strand breaks at AR target sites occurring after stimulation of prostate cancer cells with high levels of androgens. Provocatively, the number of double strand breaks was significantly increased (Figure 3 B) if the cells were treated with etoposide, an agent that leads to formation of double strand breaks at TOP2 target sites, concurrently with high-dose androgen stimulation. We hypothesize that co-administration of testosterone with etoposide could produce high levels of double strand breaks in prostate cancer cells, overwhelming DNA repair and survival mechanisms and leading to cancer cell death or growth arrest. To test whether this possibility holds promise for therapy of advanced prostate cancer, we propose the following clinical trial of parenteral testosterone therapy in combination with oral etoposide in men with evidence of progressive prostate cancer during chronic androgen ablation.

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Prostate Cancer


Testosterone, Etoposide


Johns Hopkins School of Medicine - Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
United States




Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:15:18-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Tumors or cancer of the PROSTATE which can grow in the presence of low or residual amount of androgen hormones such as TESTOSTERONE.

A glycoprotein that is a kallikrein-like serine proteinase and an esterase, produced by epithelial cells of both normal and malignant prostate tissue. It is an important marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

A semisynthetic derivative of PODOPHYLLOTOXIN that exhibits antitumor activity. Etoposide inhibits DNA synthesis by forming a complex with topoisomerase II and DNA. This complex induces breaks in double stranded DNA and prevents repair by topoisomerase II binding. Accumulated breaks in DNA prevent entry into the mitotic phase of cell division, and lead to cell death. Etoposide acts primarily in the G2 and S phases of the cell cycle.

Steroidal compounds related to TESTOSTERONE, the major mammalian male sex hormone. Testosterone congeners include important testosterone precursors in the biosynthetic pathways, metabolites, derivatives, and synthetic steroids with androgenic activities.

A synthetic retinoid that is used orally as a chemopreventive against prostate cancer and in women at risk of developing contralateral breast cancer. It is also effective as an antineoplastic agent.

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