Objectives: Patients with biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer after definitive or salvage local therapy in the absence of metastatic disease represent a group well suited to a novel therapeutic intervention. Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) is a protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has previously been tested in men with androgen-independent and metastatic prostate cancer. This Phase II study was undertaken to determine the safety and efficacy of imatinib mesylate in men with biochemical relapse of nonmetastatic, androgen-sensitive prostate cancer after local therapy. Methods: Twenty-seven patients were treated with imatinib mesylate 400 mg twice daily for up to 12 months. Three patients (11%) completed less than 4 weeks of therapy and were included in the intent-to-treat analysis of the response to therapy. Results: Of the 27 patients treated, 5 (18.5%) had a stable prostate-specific antigen (PSA) during the course of treatment; 2 patients (7.4%) experienced a partial response. The remaining 20 patients (74.1%) demonstrated PSA progression. The median progression-free survival was 3 months. The proportion of patients achieving a partial PSA response during therapy did not significantly differ from the null rate of 5% (P = 0.394). Seven patients (25.9%) discontinued therapy secondary to grade 1 to 3 toxicities. No irreversible National Institutes of Health Common Toxicity Criteria grade 3 or 4 toxicities occurred. Grade 3 and 4 toxicity included leukopenia (3.7%), serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (3.7%) and serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (3.7%) elevation, and rash (18.5%). Conclusions: The results of our study have demonstrated that imatinib mesylate delivered at a dose of 400 mg twice daily is associated with a moderate degree of toxicity and a limited PSA response in this patient population.
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