ATLANTAThe first large clinical trial to prospectively evaluate intermittent chemotherapy for androgen-independent prostate cancer showed that a minority of patients can be given chemotherapy "holidays" of clinically meaningful duration.
The finding comes from an initial analysis of the Androgen Independent Prostate Cancer Study of Calcitriol Enhancing Taxotere (ASCENT) trial, a multicenter randomized trial in metastatic androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC) patients. ASCENT investigators previously reported that
patients randomized to docetaxel (Taxotere) plus the investigational agent DN-101, an oral formulation of calcitriol (high-dose vitamin D), had improved survival, compared with patients receiving docetaxel plus placebo.
Median survival times were 24.5 months vs 16.4 months, respectively, a 33% reduction.
The current study, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 42nd Annual Meeting (abstract 4518), assessed outcomes with intermittent chemotherapy in a
subset of these patients.
While the current standard of care in AIPC is 10 cycles of docetaxel given every 3 weeks, the further management of patients after completing this chemotherapy regimen has been undefined, according to principal investigator Tomasz M. Beer, MD, of Oregon Health and Science University and the Portland VA Medical Center.