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Thalidomide for the Treatment of Hormone-Dependent Prostate Cancer

Information source: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Prostate Cancer

Intervention: Thalidomide (Drug); leuprolide acetate (Drug); goserelin (Drug); Placebo (Other)

Phase: Phase 3

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
William L Dahut, M.D., Principal Investigator, Affiliation: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Heath


This multi-center study will evaluate whether thalidomide can improve the effectiveness of the drugs leuprolide or goserelin in treating testosterone-dependent prostate cancer. Leuprolide and goserelin-both approved to treat prostate cancer-reduce testosterone production, which, in most patients, reduces the size of the tumor. Thalidomide, a drug used for many years to treat leprosy, blocks the growth of blood vessels that may be important to disease progression. Patients 18 years or older with testosterone-dependent prostate cancer that has persisted or recurred after having had surgery, radiation therapy, or cryosurgery, but whose disease has not metastasized (spread beyond the prostate) may be eligible for this study. Candidates are screened with a medical history and physical examination, including blood tests, bone and computed tomography (CT) scans or other imaging studies. Study participants are randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups. One group receives leuprolide or goserelin followed by thalidomide; the other receives leuprolide or goserelin followed by placebo (a look-alike pill with no active ingredients). Patients in both groups receive an injection of leuprolide or goserelin once a month for 6 months. After that time they take four capsules of either thalidomide or placebo once a day and remain on the drug until their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level returns to what it was before beginning leuprolide or goserelin or to 5 nanograms per liter, whichever is lower.(PSA is a protein secreted by the prostate gland. Monitoring changes in levels of this protein can help evaluate tumor progression). At this point the entire procedure begins again, starting with leuprolide or goserelin treatment, but the experimental drug is switched; patients originally treated with thalidomide are crossed over to placebo, and patients originally treated with placebo are crossed over to thalidomide. Patients are monitored periodically with the following tests and procedures: Medical histories and physical examinations. Blood and urine tests to monitor thalidomide and PSA levels, the response to treatment, and routine laboratory values (e. g., cell counts and kidney and liver function). Computed tomography (CT) and bone scans, and possibly other imaging tests to assess the tumor. Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies, as needed. For electromyography, a thin needle is inserted into a few muscles and the patient is asked to relax or to contract the muscles.

Clinical Details

Official title: A Double Blinded Randomized Crossover Phase III Study of Oral Thalidomide Versus Placebo in Patients With Stage D0 Androgen Dependent Prostate Cancer Following Limited Hormonal Ablation

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Time to Progression

Secondary outcome: The Number of Participants With Adverse Events

Detailed description: This is a double-blind randomized phase III study designed to determine if thalidomide can improve the efficacy of the luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist (leuprolide or goserelin) in hormone-responsive patients with a rising PSA after primary definitive therapy for prostate cancer. Patients with only a rising PSA will be randomized to LHRH agonist for six months followed by oral thalidomide 200 mg per day or placebo (phase A). At the time of PSA progression, an LHRH agonist will be restarted for six additional months. After six months, patients originally treated with thalidomide will be crossed over to placebo and patients originally treated with placebo will be crossed over to thalidomide and followed until PSA progression or the development of metastatic disease, whichever occurs first (Phase B). Additional information will be obtained on changes in the circulating levels of the following growth factors: basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta). Likewise we will monitor changes in testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) throughout the study. Neurological complications are the primary dose-limiting toxicity anticipated with chronic thalidomide administration.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Male.


- Inclusion Criteria:

- patients must have prostate specific antigen (PSA) only androgen dependent

adenocarcinoma of the prostate. All patients must have failed definitive therapy (radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy with external beam or brachytherapy,or cryosurgery).

- Patients must have a negative Computerized Tomography (CT) scan and Bone Scan for

metastatic prostate cancer.

- Patients must have histopathological documentation of prostate cancer. Every attempt

should be made to have slides and blocks reviewed at National Cancer Institute (NCI) Pathology laboratory. The review of pathology by the NCI will not delay enrollment.

- Patients must have progressive prostate cancer. Two consecutively rising PSAs above

the nadir post-definitive therapy and an absolute value greater than 1. 0 ng/ml separated by at least 2 weeks.

- Patients must have a life expectancy of more than 12 months.

- Patients must have a performance status of 0 to 2 according to the Eastern

Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) criteria.

- Hematological eligibility parameters (within 2 weeks of starting therapy):

Granulocyte count greater than or equal to 1,000/mm^3. Platelet count greater than or equal to 75,000/mm^3.

- Biochemical eligibility parameters (within 2 weeks of starting therapy): If the

creatinine is greater than 2. 0 mg/dL obtain a 24 hour urine collection. Creatinine clearance must be greater than 40 mL/min. Hepatic function: bilirubin (total) less than or equal to 1 mg/dL upper limit of normal; Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) less than 2. 5 times upper limit of normal.

- Exception: Patients with Clinical Gilbert's Syndrome may have total bilirubin less

than or equal to 2. 5 mg/dL.

- Patients must not have other concurrent malignancies (within the past 2 years) with

the exception of nonmelanoma skin cancer and Rai Stage 0 chronic lymphoma leukemia), in situ carcinoma of any site, or life threatening illnesses, including untreated infection (must be at least 1 week off intravenous antibiotic therapy before beginning thalidomide).

- Patients with a history of unstable or newly diagnosed angina pectoris, recent

myocardial infarction (within 6 months of enrollment), New York class II-IV congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive lung disease requiring oxygen therapy, uncontrolled seizure activity or by medical judgement of the physician, are not eligible.

- Patients must be able to understand and sign an informed consent document.

- Patients must be willing to travel from their home to the NIH or the participating

institution (Louisiana State Univ., Univ. of Washington, Columbia University,Wayne State, University of Minnesota, University of Pittsburgh, Holy Cross)for follow-up visits (due to sedation associated with thalidomide). It is preferred that patients not drive the first 3 days of taking daily dosing,or if sedation appears to be a continuing complication).

- Patients must be greater than or equal to 18 years of age.

- Male patients must be counseled about the possibility that thalidomide may be present

in semen. Men must use a latex condom every time they have sexual intercourse with women during therapy and for 8 weeks after discontinuing thalidomide, even if they have had a successful vasectomy.

- Patients may enroll as a late entry if the following criteria are met: Have received

leuprolide or goserelin within 3 months of starting study,have a PSA within two weeks of hormonal injection and have a bone scan without metastasis within 8 weeks of enrollment.

- Patients with Rai Stage of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (lymphocytosis only) will be


- Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients that have received leuprolide, diethylstilbestrol (DES), flutamide,

bicalutamide, PC stands for prostate cancer and SPES is the Latin word for hope)PC-SPES, goserelin, cytotoxic chemotherapy, finasteride and/or nilutamide within the past year (or currently) are not eligible. Patients that received these agents for adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy at the time of definitive therapy are eligible. Exception: Patients enrolled under late entry criteria, who have received leuprolide/goserelin within 3 months of starting study are eligible.

- Patients with National Cancer Institute (NCI)/Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program

(CTEP) grade 2 or greater peripheral neuropathy of any cause that is clinically detectable, patients receiving anti-convulsive medications, and patients with a history of seizures within the past 10 years will not be eligible for this study.

- Patients who are receiving sedative/hypnotic agents (i. e. benzodiazepines) which

cannot be discontinued, will not be eligible for this study. Patients who have had a surgical orchiectomy will not be eligible for this study.

- Patients who received a systemic chemotherapy for prostate cancer will not be


- Patients with a confirmed psychiatric history of a major depression consistent with

American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IIIR criteria), confirmed by a psychiatrist will not be eligible.

Locations and Contacts

Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308, United States

Louisiana State University, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112-2282, United States

National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, United States

Wayne State University Hutzel Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48201, United States

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415, United States

Columbia University, New York, New York 10032-3784, United States

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, United States

Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Virginia 23708, United States

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, United States

Additional Information

Medical Oncology Branch Clinical Trials


Drug Information Portal

U.S. FDA Resources

Related publications:

Aronson IK, Yu R, West DP, Van den Broek H, Antel J. Thalidomide-induced peripheral neuropathy. Effect of serum factor on nerve cultures. Arch Dermatol. 1984 Nov;120(11):1466-70.

Bakay B, Nyhan WL. Binding of thalidomide by macromolecules in the fetal and maternal rat. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1968 Jun;161(2):348-60.

Bauer KS, Dixon SC, Figg WD. Inhibition of angiogenesis by thalidomide requires metabolic activation, which is species-dependent. Biochem Pharmacol. 1998 Jun 1;55(11):1827-34.

Starting date: February 2000
Last updated: August 13, 2012

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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