Tasquinimod in the treatment of castrate-resistant prostate cancer - current status and future prospects.

Treatment options have significantly expanded in recent years for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), with the routine use of immunotherapy (sipuleucel-T) and novel hormonal agents such as enzalutamide and abiraterone acetate prior to taxane-based chemotherapy or radium-223 radiotherapy. A number of immune checkpoints limit the immune response of the host to metastatic tumor progression in prostate cancer, one of which is an immunosuppressive and pro-angiogenic cell called the myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC). Tasquinimod is a small molecular oral inhibitor of S100A9, a key cell surface regulator of MDSC function, and has shown anti-angiogenic, antitumor and immune-modulatory properties in preclinical models of prostate cancer and other solid tumors. A large randomized phase II trial of tasquinimod in men with chemotherapy-naïve mCRPC demonstrated a significant prolongation in radiographic and symptomatic progression-free survival compared with placebo, which was also associated with improvements in overall survival. Tasquinimod was studied in a global phase III randomized trial in men with bone mCRPC and, while it significantly improved radiographic progression-free survival, this did not result in an overall survival benefit. However, tasquinimod is under evaluation as well as a combination therapy with other systemic agents in prostate cancer and as a single agent in other solid tumors. This review encompasses the preclinical and clinical development of tasquinimod as a therapy for men with prostate cancer.

Therapeutic advances in urology. 2016 Feb [Epub]

Amit R Mehta, Andrew J Armstrong

Duke Cancer Institute Genitourinary Program, Cary, NC, USA., Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Associate Director for Clinical Research in Genitourinary Oncology, Duke Cancer Institute, Divisions of Medical Oncology and Urology, Duke University, DUMC Box 103861, Durham, NC 27710, USA.