"By Peter Russell
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
They say the research could lead to better treatment, because doctors would be able to know which tumors are more likely to grow and spread."...
Mechanism Of Action
Abiraterone acetate (ZYTIGA) is converted in vivo to abiraterone, an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor, that inhibits 17 α-hydroxylase/C17,20-lyase (CYP17). This enzyme is expressed in testicular, adrenal, and prostatic tumor tissues and is required for androgen biosynthesis.
CYP17 catalyzes two sequential reactions: 1) the conversion of pregnenolone and progesterone to their 17α-hydroxy derivatives by 17α-hydroxylase activity and 2) the subsequent formation of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione, respectively, by C17, 20 lyase activity. DHEA and androstenedione are androgens and are precursors of testosterone. Inhibition of CYP17 by abiraterone can also result in increased mineralocorticoid production by the adrenals [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Androgen sensitive prostatic carcinoma responds to treatment that decreases androgen levels. Androgen deprivation therapies, such as treatment with GnRH agonists or orchiectomy, decrease androgen production in the testes but do not affect androgen production by the adrenals or in the tumor.
ZYTIGA decreased serum testosterone and other androgens in patients in the placebo-controlled Phase 3 clinical trial. It is not necessary to monitor the effect of ZYTIGA on serum testosterone levels.
Following administration of abiraterone acetate, the pharmacokinetics of abiraterone and abiraterone acetate have been studied in healthy subjects and in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In vivo, abiraterone acetate is converted to abiraterone. In clinical studies, abiraterone acetate plasma concentrations were below detectable levels ( < 0.2 ng/mL) in > 99% of the analyzed samples.
Following oral administration of abiraterone acetate to patients with metastatic CRPC, the median time to reach maximum plasma abiraterone concentrations is 2 hours. Abiraterone accumulation is observed at steady-state, with a 2-fold higher exposure (steady-state AUC) compared to a single 1,000 mg dose of abiraterone acetate.
At the dose of 1,000 mg daily in patients with metastatic CRPC, steady-state values (mean ± SD) of Cmax were 226 ± 178 ng/mL and of AUC were 993 ± 639 ng.hr/mL. No major deviation from dose proportionality was observed in the dose range of 250 mg to 1,000 mg. However, the exposure was not significantly increased when the dose was doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 mg (8% increase in the mean AUC).
Systemic exposure of abiraterone is increased when abiraterone acetate is administered with food. In healthy subjects abiraterone Cmax and AUC0-∞ were approximately 7-and 5-fold higher, respectively, when a single dose of abiraterone acetate was administered with a low-fat meal (7% fat, 300 calories) and approximately 17-and 10-fold higher, respectively, when a single dose of abiraterone acetate was administered with a high-fat (57% fat, 825 calories) meal compared to overnight fasting. Abiraterone AUC0-∞ was approximately 7-fold or 1.6-fold higher, respectively, when a single dose of abiraterone acetate was administered 2 hours after or 1 hour before a medium fat meal (25% fat, 491 calories) compared to overnight fasting.
Systemic exposures of abiraterone in patients with metastatic CRPC, after repeated dosing of abiraterone acetate were similar when abiraterone acetate was taken with low-fat meals for 7 days and increased approximately 2-fold when taken with high-fat meals for 7 days compared to when taken at least 2 hours after a meal and at least 1 hour before a meal for 7 days.
Given the normal variation in the content and composition of meals, taking ZYTIGA with meals has the potential to result in increased and highly variable exposures. Therefore, no food should be consumed for at least two hours before the dose of ZYTIGA is taken and for at least one hour after the dose of ZYTIGA is taken. The tablets should be swallowed whole with water [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Distribution And Protein Binding
Abiraterone is highly bound ( > 99%) to the human plasma proteins, albumin and alpha-1 acid glycoprotein. The apparent steady-state volume of distribution (mean ± SD) is 19,669 ± 13,358 L. In vitro studies show that at clinically relevant concentrations, abiraterone acetate and abiraterone are not substrates of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and that abiraterone acetate is an inhibitor of P-gp.
Following oral administration of 14C-abiraterone acetate as capsules, abiraterone acetate is hydrolyzed to abiraterone (active metabolite). The conversion is likely through esterase activity (the esterases have not been identified) and is not CYP mediated. The two main circulating metabolites of abiraterone in human plasma are abiraterone sulphate (inactive) and N-oxide abiraterone sulphate (inactive), which account for about 43% of exposure each. CYP3A4 and SULT2A1 are the enzymes involved in the formation of N-oxide abiraterone sulphate and SULT2A1 is involved in the formation of abiraterone sulphate.
In patients with metastatic CRPC, the mean terminal half-life of abiraterone in plasma (mean ± SD) is 12 ± 5 hours. Following oral administration of 14C-abiraterone acetate, approximately 88% of the radioactive dose is recovered in feces and approximately 5% in urine. The major compounds present in feces are unchanged abiraterone acetate and abiraterone (approximately 55% and 22% of the administered dose, respectively).
Patients With Hepatic Impairment
The pharmacokinetics of abiraterone was examined in subjects with baseline mild (N=8) or moderate (N=8) hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A and B, respectively) and in 8 healthy control subjects with normal hepatic function. Systemic exposure to abiraterone after a single oral 1,000 mg dose given under fasting conditions increased approximately 1.1-fold and 3.6-fold in subjects with mild and moderate baseline hepatic impairment, respectively. The mean half-life of abiraterone is prolonged to approximately 18 hours in subjects with mild hepatic impairment and to approximately 19 hours in subjects with moderate hepatic impairment.
In another trial, the pharmacokinetics of abiraterone were examined in subjects with baseline severe (N=8) hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C) and in 8 healthy control subjects with normal hepatic function. The systemic exposure (AUC) of abiraterone increased by approximately 7-fold in subjects with severe baseline hepatic impairment compared to subjects with normal hepatic function. In addition, the mean protein binding was found to be lower in the severe hepatic impairment group compared to the normal hepatic function group, which resulted in a two-fold increase in the fraction of free drug in patients with severe hepatic impairment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Use In Specific Populations].
Patients With Renal Impairment
The pharmacokinetics of abiraterone were examined in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on a stable hemodialysis schedule (N=8) and in matched control subjects with normal renal function (N=8). In the ESRD cohort of the trial, a single 1,000 mg ZYTIGA dose was given under fasting conditions 1 hour after dialysis, and samples for pharmacokinetic analysis were collected up to 96 hours post dose. Systemic exposure to abiraterone after a single oral 1,000 mg dose did not increase in subjects with end-stage renal disease on dialysis, compared to subjects with normal renal function [see Use in Specific Populations].
In vitro studies with human hepatic microsomes showed that abiraterone has the potential to inhibit CYP1A2, CYP2D6, CYP2C8 and to a lesser extent CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A4/5.
In an in vivo drug-drug interaction trial, the Cmax and AUC of dextromethorphan (CYP2D6 substrate) were increased 2.8-and 2.9-fold, respectively when dextromethorphan 30 mg was given with abiraterone acetate 1,000 mg daily (plus prednisone 5 mg twice daily). The AUC for dextrorphan, the active metabolite of dextromethorphan, increased approximately 1.3 fold [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In a clinical study to determine the effects of abiraterone acetate 1,000 mg daily (plus prednisone 5 mg twice daily) on a single 100 mg dose of the CYP1A2 substrate theophylline, no increase in systemic exposure of theophylline was observed.
Abiraterone is a substrate of CYP3A4, in vitro. In a clinical pharmacokinetic interaction study of healthy subjects pretreated with a strong CYP3A4 inducer (rifampin, 600 mg daily for 6 days) followed by a single dose of abiraterone acetate 1,000 mg, the mean plasma AUC∞ of abiraterone was decreased by 55% [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In a separate clinical pharmacokinetic interaction study of healthy subjects, co-administration of ketoconazole, a strong inhibitor of CYP3A4, had no clinically meaningful effect on the pharmacokinetics of abiraterone [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In a CYP2C8 drug-drug interaction trial in healthy subjects, the AUC of pioglitazone was increased by 46% when pioglitazone was given together with a single dose of 1,000 mg abiraterone acetate [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In vitro, abiraterone and its major metabolites were shown to inhibit the hepatic uptake transporter OATP1B1. There are no clinical data available to confirm transporter based interaction.
In a multi-center, open-label, single-arm trial, 33 patients with metastatic CRPC received ZYTIGA orally at a dose of 1,000 mg once daily at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal in combination with prednisone 5 mg orally twice daily. Assessments up to Cycle 2 Day 2 showed no large changes in the QTc interval (i.e., > 20 ms) from baseline. However, small increases in the QTc interval (i.e., < 10 ms) due to abiraterone acetate cannot be excluded due to study design limitations.
Animal Toxicology And/Or Pharmacology
In 13-and 26-week studies in rats and 13-and 39-week studies in monkeys, a reduction in circulating testosterone levels occurred with abiraterone acetate at approximately one half the human clinical exposure based on AUC. As a result, decreases in organ weights and toxicities were observed in the male and female reproductive system, adrenal glands, liver, pituitary (rats only), and male mammary glands. The changes in the reproductive organs are consistent with the antiandrogenic pharmacological activity of abiraterone acetate. A dose-dependent increase in cataracts was observed in rats at 26 weeks starting at ≥ 50 mg/kg/day (similar to the human clinical exposure based on AUC). In the 39-week monkey study, no cataracts were observed at higher doses (2 times greater than the clinical exposure based on AUC). All other toxicities associated with abiraterone acetate reversed or were partially resolved after a 4-week recovery period.
The efficacy and safety of ZYTIGA in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) that has progressed on androgen deprivation therapy was demonstrated in two randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter Phase 3 clinical trials. Patients with prior ketoconazole treatment for prostate cancer and a history of adrenal gland or pituitary disorders were excluded from these trials. Concurrent use of spironolactone was not allowed during the study period.
Patients With Metastatic CRPC Who Had Received Prior Docetaxel Chemotherapy
A total of 1195 patients were randomized 2:1 to receive either ZYTIGA orally at a dose of 1,000 mg once daily in combination with prednisone 5 mg orally twice daily (N=797) or placebo once daily plus prednisone 5 mg orally twice daily (N=398). Patients randomized to either arm were to continue treatment until disease progression (defined as a 25% increase in PSA over the patient's baseline/nadir together with protocol-defined radiographic progression and symptomatic or clinical progression), initiation of new treatment, unacceptable toxicity or withdrawal.
The following patient demographics and baseline disease characteristics were balanced between the treatment arms. The median age was 69 years (range 39-95) and the racial distribution was 93.3% Caucasian, 3.6% Black, 1.7% Asian, and 1.6% Other. Eighty-nine percent of patients enrolled had an ECOG performance status score of 0-1 and 45% had a Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form score of ≥ 4 (patient's reported worst pain over the previous 24 hours). Ninety percent of patients had metastases in bone and 30% had visceral involvement. Seventy percent of patients had radiographic evidence of disease progression and 30% had PSA-only progression. Seventy percent of patients had previously received one cytotoxic chemotherapy regimen and 30% received two regimens.
The protocol pre-specified interim analysis was conducted after 552 deaths and showed a statistically significant improvement in overall survival (OS) in patients treated with ZYTIGA compared to patients in the placebo arm (Table 5 and Figure 1). An updated survival analysis was conducted when 775 deaths (97% of the planned number of deaths for final analysis) were observed. Results from this analysis were consistent with those from the interim analysis (Table 5).
Table 5: Overall Survival of Patients Treated with
Either ZYTIGA or Placebo in Combination with Prednisone in Study 1
|Primary Survival Analysis|
|Deaths (%)||333 (42%)||219 (55%)|
|Median survival (months)(95% CI)||14.8 (14.1, 15.4)||10.9 (10.2, 12.0)|
|Hazard ratio (95% CI)2||0.646 (0.543, 0.768)|
|Updated Survival Analysis|
|Deaths (%)||501 (63%)||274 (69%)|
|Median survival (months)(95% CI)||15.8 (14.8, 17.0)||11.2 (10.4, 13.1)|
|Hazard ratio (95% CI)2||0.740 (0.638, 0.859)|
|1 p-value is derived from a log-rank test stratified by ECOG
performance status score (0-1 vs. 2), pain score (absent vs. present), number
of prior chemotherapy regimens (1 vs. 2), and type of disease progression (PSA
only vs. radiographic).
2 Hazard Ratio is derived from a stratified proportional hazards model. Hazard ratio < 1 favors ZYTIGA.
Figure 1: Kaplan - Meier Overall Survival Curves in
Study 1 (Intent - to-Treat Analysis)
Patients With Metastatic CRPC Who Had Not Received Prior Cytotoxic Chemotherapy
In Study 2, 1088 patients were randomized 1:1 to receive either ZYTIGA at a dose of 1,000 mg once daily (N=546) or Placebo once daily (N=542). Both arms were given concomitant prednisone 5 mg twice daily. Patients continued treatment until radiographic or clinical (cytotoxic chemotherapy, radiation or surgical treatment for cancer, pain requiring chronic opioids, or ECOG performance status decline to 3 or more) disease progression, unacceptable toxicity or withdrawal. Patients with moderate or severe pain, opiate use for cancer pain, or visceral organ metastases were excluded.
Patient demographics were balanced between the treatment arms. The median age was 70 years. The racial distribution of patients treated with ZYTIGA was 95.4% Caucasian, 2.8% Black, 0.7% Asian and 1.1% Other. The ECOG performance status was 0 for 76% of patients, and 1 for 24% of patients. Co-primary efficacy endpoints were overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS). Baseline pain assessment was 0-1 (asymptomatic) in 66% of patients and 2-3 (mildly symptomatic) in 26% of patients as defined by the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (worst pain over the last 24 hours).
Radiographic progression-free survival was assessed with the use of sequential imaging studies and was defined by bone scan identification of 2 or more new bone lesions with confirmation (Prostate Cancer Working Group 2 criteria) and/or modified Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria for progression of soft tissue lesions. Analysis of rPFS utilized centrally-reviewed radiographic assessment of progression.
The planned final analysis for OS, conducted after 741 deaths (median follow up of 49 months) demonstrated a statistically significant OS improvement in patients treated with ZYTIGA compared to those treated with placebo (Table 6 and Figure 2). Sixty-five percent of patients on the ZYTIGA arm and 78% of patients on the placebo arm used subsequent therapies that may prolong OS in metastatic CRPC. ZYTIGA was used as a subsequent therapy in 13% of patients on the ZYTIGA arm and 44% of patients on the placebo arm.
Table 6: Overall Survival of Patients Treated with
Either ZYTIGA or Placebo in Combination with Prednisone in Study 2
|Deaths||354 (65%)||387 (71%)|
|Median survival (months)(95% CI)||34.7 (32.7, 36.8)||30.3 (28.7, 33.3)|
|Hazard ratio2 (95% CI)||0.81 (0.70, 0.93)|
|1 p-value is derived from a log-rank test stratified by ECOG performance status score (0 vs. 1). 2 Hazard Ratio is derived from a stratified proportional hazards model. Hazard ratio < 1 favors ZYTIGA.|
Figure 2: Kaplan Meier Overall Survival Curves in
At the pre-specified rPFS analysis, 150 (28%) patients treated with ZYTIGA and 251 (46%) patients treated with placebo had radiographic progression. A significant difference in rPFS between treatment groups was observed (Table 7 and Figure 3).
Table 7: Radiographic
Progression-free Survival of Patients Treated with Either ZYTIGA or Placebo in
Combination with Prednisone in Study 2 (Intent-to-Treat Analysis)
|Radiographic Progression-free Survival||ZYTIGA
|Progression or death||150 (28%)||251 (46%)|
|Median rPFS (months)||NR||8.28|
|(95% CI)||(11.66, NR)||(8.12, 8.54)|
|Hazard ratio2 (95% CI)||0.425 (0.347, 0.522)|
1 p-value is derived from a log-rank test stratified by ECOG performance status score (0 vs. 1).
2 Hazard Ratio is derived from a stratified proportional hazards model. Hazard ratio < 1 favors ZYTIGA.
Figure 3: Kaplan Meier Curves of Radiographic
Progression-free Survival in Study 2 (Intent-to-Treat Analysis)
The primary efficacy analyses are supported by the following prospectively defined endpoints. The median time to initiation of cytotoxic chemotherapy was 25.2 months for patients receiving ZYTIGA and 16.8 months for patients receiving placebo (HR=0.580; 95% CI: [0.487, 0.691], p < 0.0001).
The median time to opiate use for prostate cancer pain was not reached for patients receiving ZYTIGA and was 23.7 months for patients receiving placebo (HR=0.686; 95% CI: [0.566, 0.833], p=0.0001). The time to opiate use result was supported by a delay in patient reported pain progression favoring the ZYTIGA arm.
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/31/2016
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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