Background: The intractability of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is exacerbated by tumour heterogeneity, including diverse alterations to the androgen receptor (AR) axis and AR-independent phenotypes. The availability of additional models encompassing this heterogeneity would facilitate the identification of more effective therapies for CRPC. Objective: To discover therapeutic strategies by exploiting patient-derived models that exemplify the heterogeneity of CRPC. Design, setting, and participants: Four new patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) were established from independent metastases of two patients and characterised using integrative genomics. A panel of rationally selected drugs was tested using an innovative ex vivo PDX culture system. Intervention: The following drugs were evaluated: AR signalling inhibitors (enzalutamide and galeterone), a PARP inhibitor (talazoparib), a chemotherapeutic (cisplatin), a CDK4/6 inhibitor (ribociclib), bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) protein inhibitors (iBET151 and JQ1), and inhibitors of ribosome biogenesis/function (RNA polymerase I inhibitor CX-5461 and pan-PIM kinase inhibitor CX-6258). Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Drug efficacy in ex vivo cultures of PDX tissues was evaluated using immunohistochemistry for Ki67 and cleaved caspase-3 levels. Candidate drugs were also tested for antitumour efficacy in vivo, with tumour volume being the primary endpoint. Two-tailed t tests were used to compare drug and control treatments. Results and limitations: Integrative genomics revealed that the new PDXs exhibited heterogeneous mechanisms of resistance, including known and novel AR mutations, genomic structural rearrangements of the AR gene, and a neuroendocrine-like AR-null phenotype. Despite their heterogeneity, all models were sensitive to the combination of ribosome-targeting agents CX-5461 and CX-6258. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that ribosome-targeting drugs may be effective against diverse CRPC subtypes including AR-null disease, and highlights the potential of contemporary patient-derived models to prioritise treatment strategies for clinical translation. Patient summary: Diverse types of therapy-resistant prostate cancers are sensitive to a new combination of drugs that inhibit protein synthesis pathways in cancer cells. New treatments are urgently required for castration-resistant prostate cancers with diverse mechanisms of resistance. Using a suite of patient-derived models, we demonstrate the effectiveness of ribosome-targeting drugs across a spectrum of castration-resistant prostate cancer subtypes.
- Androgen receptor
- Castration-resistant prostate cancer
- Neuroendocrine prostate cancer
- Patient-derived xenograft
- Prostate cancer