Prostate cancer (PC) initially depends on androgen receptor (AR) signaling for survival and growth. Therapeutics designed to suppress AR activity serve as the primary intervention for advanced disease. However, supraphysiological androgen (SPA) concentrations can produce paradoxical responses leading to PC growth inhibition. We sought to discern the mechanisms by which SPA inhibits PC and to determine if molecular context associates with antitumor activity. SPA produced an AR-mediated, dose-dependent induction of DNA double-strand breaks, G0/G1 cell-cycle arrest, and cellular senescence. SPA repressed genes involved in DNA repair and delayed the restoration of damaged DNA, which was augmented by poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 inhibition. SPA-induced double-strand breaks were accentuated in BRCA2-deficient patients with PC, and combining SPA with poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase or DNA-dependent protein kinase inhibition further repressed growth. Next-generation sequencing was performed on biospecimens from patients with PC receiving SPA as part of ongoing phase II clinical trials. Patients with mutations in genes mediating homology-directed DNA repair were more likely to exhibit clinical responses to SPA. These results provide a mechanistic rationale for directing SPA therapy to patients with PC who have AR amplification or DNA repair deficiency and for combining SPA therapy with poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibition.


Payel Chatterjee, Michael T. Schweizer, Jared M. Lucas, Ilsa Coleman, Michael D. Nyquist, Sander B. Frank, Robin Tharakan, Elahe Mostaghel, Jun Luo, Colin C. Pritchard, Hung-Ming Lam, Eva Corey, Emmanuel S. Antonarakis, Samuel R. Denmeade, Peter S. Nelson


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