Purpose: To identify the molecular signature associated with abiraterone acetate (AA) response and mechanisms underlying AA resistance in castration-resistant prostate cancer patient-derived xenografts (PDXs).
Experimental Design: SCID mice bearing LuCaP 136CR, 77CR, 96CR, and 35CR PDXs were treated with AA. Tumor volume and prostate-specific antigen were monitored, and tumors were harvested 7 days after treatment or at end of study for gene expression and immunohistochemical studies.
Results: Three phenotypic groups were observed based on AA response. An ultraresponsive phenotype was identified in LuCaP 136CR with significant inhibition of tumor progression and increased survival, intermediate responders LuCaP 77CR and LuCaP 96CR with a modest tumor inhibition and survival benefit, and LuCaP 35CR with minimal tumor inhibition and no survival benefit upon AA treatment. We identified a molecular signature of secreted proteins associated with the AA ultraresponsive phenotype. Upon resistance, AA ultraresponder LuCaP 136CR displayed reduced androgen receptor (AR) signaling and sustainably low nuclear glucocorticoid receptor (nGR) localization, accompanied by steroid metabolism alteration and epithelial–mesenchymal transition phenotype enrichment with increased expression of NF-κB–regulated genes; intermediate and minimal responders maintained sustained AR signaling and increased tumoral nGR localization.
Conclusions: We identified a molecular signature of secreted proteins associated with AA ultraresponsiveness and sustained AR/GR signaling upon AA resistance in intermediate or minimal responders. These data will inform development of noninvasive biomarkers predicting AA response and suggest that further inhibition along the AR/GR signaling axis may be effective only in AA-resistant patients who are intermediate or minimal responders. These findings require verification in prospective clinical trials. Clin Cancer Res; 1–12. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
H.-M. Lam and R. McMullin were co-primary lead authors.
- Received August 15, 2016.
- Revision received November 9, 2016.
- Accepted December 8, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.