ONC201 Targets AR and AR-V7 Signaling, Reduces PSA, and Synergizes with Everolimus in Prostate Cancer.

Research paper by Avital A Lev, Amriti R AR Lulla, Brian C BC Ross, Marie D MD Ralff, Petr B PB Makhov, David T DT Dicker, Wafik S WS El-Deiry

Indexed on: 29 Mar '18Published on: 29 Mar '18Published in: Molecular cancer research : MCR


Androgen receptor (AR) signaling plays a key role in prostate cancer progression, and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is a mainstay clinical treatment regimen for patients with advanced disease. Unfortunately, most prostate cancers eventually become androgen-independent and resistant to ADT with patients progressing to metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Constitutively activated AR variants (AR-V) have emerged as mediators of resistance to AR-targeted therapy and the progression of mCRPC, and they represent an important therapeutic target. Out of at least 15 AR-Vs described thus far, AR-V7 is the most abundant, and its expression correlates with ADT resistance. ONC201/TIC10 is the founding member of the imipridone class of small molecules and has shown anticancer activity in a broad range of tumor types. ONC201 is currently being tested in phase I/II clinical trials for advanced solid tumors, including mCRPC, and hematologic malignancies. There has been promising activity observed in patients in early clinical testing. This study demonstrates preclinical single-agent efficacy of ONC201 usingandmodels of prostate cancer. ONC201 has potent antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in both castration-resistant and -sensitive prostate cancer cells. Furthermore, the data demonstrate that ONC201 downregulates the expression of key drivers of prostate cancer such as AR-V7 and downstream target genes including the clinically used biomarker PSA (KLK3). Finally, the data also provide a preclinical rationale for combination of ONC201 with approved therapeutics for prostate cancer such as enzalutamide, everolimus (mTOR inhibitor), or docetaxel.The preclinical efficacy of ONC201 as a single agent or in combination, in hormone-sensitive or castration-resistant prostate cancer, suggests the potential for immediate clinical translation. ©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.