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Darolutamide: An Evidenced-Based Review of Its Efficacy and Safety in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Authors Crawford ED, Stanton W, Mandair D

Received 10 April 2020

Accepted for publication 12 June 2020

Published 13 July 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 5667—5676


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjeev Srivastava

E David Crawford,1 Whitney Stanton,2 Divneet Mandair2,3

1Department of Urology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; 2Department of Pathology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA; 3Division of Internal Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA

Correspondence: E David Crawford Email

Abstract: Men treated with androgen deprivation therapy for rising PSA after failed local therapy will often develop castrate resistance, and the appearance of metastases predicts a poor prognosis. Thus, researchers have long sought to prolong the onset of metastasis in patients with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Until 2018, patients in this group had no FDA-approved treatment options. They were typically managed with androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) to maintain castrate systemic testosterone levels and given approved therapies for metastatic CRPC once metastases appeared. However, third-generation androgen receptor inhibitors (ARIs) have dramatically changed the treatment paradigm, having shown the ability to extend metastasis-free survival (MFS) significantly over ADT alone in Phase 3 trials. The newest of these, darolutamide, prolonged MFS 22 months over placebo while also improving a host of secondary and exploratory endpoints such as overall survival (OS), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression and time to pain progression, chemotherapy initiation, and symptomatic skeletal events. Among third-generation ARIs, darolutamide is unique in that it incorporates two pharmacologically active diastereomers and has demonstrated resistance to all known androgen receptor (AR) mutations. Additionally, patients taking darolutamide appear to experience comparatively few central nervous system-related adverse events (AEs) such as fatigue and falls, and no increases in seizures have been reported in the drug’s clinical or preclinical development. Various authors attribute the low incidence of CNS-related AEs to darolutamide’s minimal penetration of the blood–brain barrier (BBB). Other side effects ranging from hot flashes to hypothyroidism also occurred at rates similar to those of the placebo arm in Phase 3. As ADT in itself raises cardiovascular risk, the cardiovascular safety of third-generation antiandrogens as a category warrants continued scrutiny. In total, however, published data suggest that darolutamide provides a reasonable option for patients with nonmetastatic CRPC. Ongoing research will determine darolutamide’s potential role in additional disease states such as localized and castration-sensitive PCa.

Keywords: nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, darolutamide, androgen receptor inhibitors, androgen deprivation therapy

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