Potential value of rapid prostate-specific antigen decline in identifying primary resistance to abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide

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To identify factors predicting primary resistance to new-generation hormonal agents (NHAs), abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

Patients & methods:

Our hospital has conducted two successive named patient NHA programs. A total of 57 patients with progressive CRPC previously treated with first-line docetaxel-based chemotherapy received standard NHA doses: abiraterone acetate 1000 mg once-daily combined with prednisone (5 mg twice daily) or enzalutamide 160 mg once-daily. Patients, who were assessed monthly to check their hematological parameters and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, also underwent imaging investigations every 3–4 months. In total, 24 variables were assessed as potential predictors of primary NHA resistance.


Univariate analysis indicated that baseline pain and lactate dehydrogenase levels, and PSA levels after 1 month's treatment were predictive of primary NHA resistance. Only the predictive value of PSA levels after 1 month of treatment was confirmed at multivariate analysis. This factor strongly predicted progression-free and overall survival.


Results suggest the use of a simple and rapid method of identifying patients with primary resistance to NHAs: patients not achieving a ≥50% reduction in PSA levels within the first treatment month should undergo intensive investigations to verify whether they have primary resistance to NHAs.

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