Apalutamide for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Introduction: Five new agents have been shown to prolong survival in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, including two targeting androgen receptor signaling (abiraterone acetate plus prednisone; enzalutamide). Recognition that these tumors remain driven by androgen receptor signaling has prompted clinical evaluation of these agents at earlier states in the prostate cancer disease continuum, along with the continued development of new agents targeting this pathway.
Areas covered: This article focuses on apalutamide, a next-generation nonsteroidal antiandrogen, with current literature queried in PubMed/Medline. A narrative review strategy describes studies from engineering of the compound through to a 5-year outlook.
Expert commentary: In the phase III SPARTAN study, apalutamide significantly improved metastasis-free survival in patients with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer – the first treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for this indication. Phase III studies are under way to determine the clinical benefit of apalutamide in other disease states. Given the multiplicity of prostate cancer treatment options now available, there is a need to maximize individual patient benefit through the development and validation of predictive biomarkers of sensitivity to drugs that can be used in real time to determine the optimal sequence and combinations of treatments for patients in need.