Research Papers:

Androgen deprivation therapy sensitizes prostate cancer cells to T-cell killing through androgen receptor dependent modulation of the apoptotic pathway

Andressa Ardiani, Sofia R. Gameiro, Anna R. Kwilas, Renee N. Donahue and James W. Hodge _

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:9335-9348. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2429

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Andressa Ardiani1, Sofia R. Gameiro1, Anna R. Kwilas1, Renee N. Donahue1 and James W. Hodge1

1 Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA


James W. Hodge, email:

Keywords: enzalutamide, abiraterone, ADT, cancer vaccine, immunogenic modulation, prostate cancer, immunotherapy

Received: July 16, 2014 Accepted: September 02, 2014 Published: September 03, 2014


Despite recent advances in diagnosis and management, prostrate cancer remains the second most common cause of death from cancer in American men, after lung cancer. Failure of chemotherapies and hormone-deprivation therapies is the major cause of death in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Currently, the androgen inhibitors enzalutamide and abiraterone are approved for treatment of metastatic CRPC. Here we show for the first time that both enzalutamide and abiraterone render prostate tumor cells more sensitive to T cell-mediated lysis through immunogenic modulation, and that these immunomodulatory activities are androgen receptor (AR)-dependent. In studies reported here, the NAIP gene was significantly down-regulated in human prostate tumor cells treated in vitro and in vivo with enzalutamide. Functional analysis revealed that NAIP played a critical role in inducing CTL sensitivity. Amplification of AR is a major mechanism of resistance to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT). Here, we show that enzalutamide enhances sensitivity to immune-mediated killing of prostate tumor cells that overexpress AR. The immunomodulatory properties of enzalutamide and abiraterone provide a rationale for their use in combination with immunotherapeutic agents in CRPC, especially for patients with minimal response to enzalutamide or abiraterone alone, or for patients who have developed resistance to ADT.

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