The objective of this study was to determine whether there is any beneficial effect of oral 13-cis-retinoic acid (isotretinoin) on prostate cancer, using serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels as a surrogate end point in patients with a rising serum PSA after radical prostatectomy. In the first phase, the effect of the drug on the serum PSA level was tested in 14 control patients with normal prostates. Our goal was to exclude any effect of isotretinoin on PSA secretion and metabolism and thus to validate any observed effect on PSA as indicative of anticancer activity. In the second phase, patients with rising PSA levels after radical prostatectomy and no evidence of metastatic disease were treated with oral isotretinoin at a daily dose of 1.0 mg/kg. Serum PSA levels were checked monthly for the first 4 months after initiation of treatment and every 3 months thereafter. No significant changes in serum PSA levels after 3 months of isotretinoin treatment were recorded in the control group (P = 1.000). Three of 11 postprostatectomy patients (27%) had a PSA reduction of 28%, 15%, and 6.6% after initiation of treatment that lasted for a period of 2-3 months. In two of these three patients, the PSA levels subsequently rose exponentially. Another patient displayed a stabilization of the serum PSA curve for 3 months after an initial sharp rise. No grade 3 or 4 toxicity was recorded in this group of patients. Isotretinoin had a modest, transient effect on the serum PSA level in 4 of 11 (36%) patients with a rising serum PSA after radical prostatectomy. We conclude that this drug is unlikely to be of major therapeutic benefit in prostate cancer patients when used as a single agent. However, its modest effect argues for the exploration of other, more potent retinoids for prostate cancer therapy.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Clinical Cancer Research|
|State||Published - 2000|