Purpose: The heterogeneity of androgen receptor (AR)activity (AR-A) is well-characterized in heavily treated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). However, the diversity and clinical implications of AR-A in treatment-naïve primary prostate cancer is largely unknown. We sought to characterize AR-A in localized prostate cancer and understand its molecular and clinical implications. Experimental Design: Genome-wide expression profiles from prostatectomy or biopsy samples from 19,470 patients were used, all with independent pathology review. This was comprised of prospective discovery (n ¼ 5,239) and validation (n ¼ 12,728) cohorts, six retrospective institutional cohorts with long-term clinical outcomes data (n ¼ 1,170), and The Cancer Genome Atlas (n ¼ 333). Results: A low AR-active subclass was identified, which comprised 9%-11% of each cohort, and was characterized by increased immune signaling, neuroendocrine expression, and decreased DNA repair. These tumors were predominantly ERG and basal subtype. Low AR-active tumors had significantly more rapid development of recurrence or metastatic disease across cohorts, which was maintained on multivariable analysis [HR, 2.61; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22-5.60; P ¼ 0.014]. Low AR-active tumors were predicted to be more sensitive to PARP inhibition, platinum chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, and less sensitive to docetaxel and androgen-deprivation therapy. This was validated clinically, in that low AR-active tumors were less sensitive to androgen-deprivation therapy (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.21-0.80; P ¼ 0.008). Conclusions: Leveraging large-scale transcriptomic data allowed the identification of an aggressive subtype of treatment-naïve primary prostate cancer that harbors molecular features more analogous to mCRPC. This suggests that a preexisting subgroup of patients may have tumors that are predisposed to fail multiple current standard-of-care therapies and warrant dedicated therapeutic investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research