Prostate cancer chemoprevention represents a relatively new and promising strategy for reducing the immense public health burden of this devastating cancer of men in the United States and Western societies. Chemoprevention is defined as the administration of agents (drugs, biologics, and natural products) that modulate (inhibit) one or more steps in the multistage carcinogenesis process culminating in invasive adenocarcinoma of the prostate. In 2000, there were an estimated 170,000 new cases of prostate cancer and 31,000 deaths in the United States. During the past decade, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) organized the chemoprevention research program and began testing the first generation of promising agents (eg, 4-(hydroxy)-fenretinide [4-HPR], difluoromethylornithine [DFMO], antiandrogens) in high-risk cohorts and launched the first-large scale US phase 3 primary prevention trial, known as Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT-1), in 18,000 average-risk men (age more than 55 years and prostate-specific antigen [PSA] less than 3 ng/mL) treated for 7 years with finasteride or placebo. In the summer of 1998, the NCI Prostate Cancer Progress Review Group (PRG) Report to the director of NCI was published in response to the leadership of the prostate cancer advocacy community in conjunction with Congress. To further elucidate and address critical issues identified in this report and to develop a research agenda for the newly created Prostate and Urologic Cancer Research Group in the Division of Cancer Prevention at NCI, the NCI organized the workshop "New Clinical Trial Strategies for Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention." The major objectives were to promote understanding and cooperation among the NCI, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), academia, pharmaceutical industry, and the public regarding new opportunities for clinical prevention trials for prostate cancer. The workshop was divided into three concurrent breakout panels and a fourth joint integrative panel. The workshop addressed multiple key areas identified in the PRG report in the following panels: (1) Molecular Targets and Promising Agents in Clinical Development; (2) Intermediate Endpoint Biomarkers for Prevention Trials; (3) High-Risk Study Populations for Prevention Trials, and (4) Preventive Clinical Trial Designs and Regulatory Issues. Expert panelists were drawn from leading academic, pharmaceutical, and government scientists in basic research and clinical investigation. Key pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic, and National Institutes of Health scientists presented overviews of their new agents and products in clinical development (representing the next generation of promising agents). Senior FDA physicians from the Center for Drugs and Center for Biologics presented on current standards for new drug and biologic approval for chemoprevention efficacy. Some of the key topics included recent advances in the state of knowledge of promising agents in the clinic based on molecular targets as well as bottlenecks in drug development for pharmaceutical sponsors; strategic modulable biomarkers that can serve as primary endpoints in phase 1/2 trials to assess preventive efficacy; high-risk cohorts with precancer (high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia) and representative clinical trial designs that are ready for immediate translation into efficient prevention trials, such as Bayesian sequential monitoring for early assessment of biologic activity and factorial designs for assessment of multiagent combinations. Finally, each expert panel generated recommendations for areas of future research emphasizing opportunities and infrastructure needs.
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