The association between choline uptake and androgen receptor (AR) expression is suggested by the upregulation of choline kinase-alpha in prostate cancer. Recently, detection of AR aberration in cell-free DNA as well as early 18F-fluorocholine positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FCH-PET/CT) were associated with outcome in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients treated with abiraterone and enzalutamide. We aimed to make a direct comparison between circulating AR copy number (CN) and choline uptake at FCH-PET/CT. We analysed 80 mCRPC patients progressing after docetaxel treated with abiraterone (n = 47) or enzalutamide (n = 33). We analysed AR CN from plasma samples using digital PCR and Taqman CN assays and total lesion activity (TLA) and metabolic tumor volume (MTV) on FCH-PET/CT at baseline. A meaningful correlation was showed among AR gain and TLA/MTV compared to AR non-gained cases (P = 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively), independently from type of treatment. Multivariate analysis revealed that AR CN and only TLA were associated with both shorter PFS (P < 0.0009 and P = 0.026, respectively) and OS (P < 0.031 and P = 0.039, respectively). AR gain appeared significantly correlated with choline uptake represented mainly by TLA. Further prospective studies are warranted to better address this pathway of AR-signalling and to identify multiplex biomarker strategies including plasma AR and FCH-PET/CT in mCRPC patients.
- Journal Article