Molecular and Clinical Characterization of Patients With Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer Achieving Deep Responses to Bipolar Androgen Therapy

Published:August 15, 2021DOI:



      Bipolar androgen therapy (BAT) is an emerging treatment strategy for men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) whereby serum testosterone is cycled from supraphysiologic to near-castrate levels each month. BAT has been shown to induce clinical responses in a significant proportion of patients, some of which are extreme. We explored the clinical and molecular characteristics of patients with mCRPC who achieved deep responses to BAT.


      We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with mCRPC treated with BAT at Johns Hopkins. We identified 22 of 114 (19%) patients with mCRPC who achieved ≥70% PSA reductions upon treatment with BAT. All patients were treated using 400 mg testosterone cypionate intramuscularly every 28 days, together with continuous LHRH agonist therapy. Clinical-grade DNA sequencing was obtained using commercially available assays.


      Somatic next-generation sequencing was obtained for 15 of 22 (68%) patients. Of these 15 extreme PSA responders with sequencing data available, All 15 of 15 (100%) harbored a pathogenic mutation in TP53 and/or a homologous recombination DNA repair (HRD) gene. Among the subset of patients with measureable disease (N = 15), 10 patients (67%) achieved an objective response including one patient with a complete response. The median radiographic progression-free survival of these deep PSA responders was 11.3 months (95% CI, 7.9-25.0 months).


      We observed an enrichment of TP53 and HRD mutations in mCRPC patients with extreme PSA responses to BAT, with durability lasting about a year. These data support the hypothesis that BAT may most benefit patients with DNA repair-deficient mCRPC. Further studies of BAT in biomarker-selected mCRPC populations (ie, TP53/HRD-mutated) are warranted.


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